Skip to main content

Full text of "The letters of Queen Victoria : a selection from Her Majesty's correspondence between the years 1837 and 1861 : published by authority of His Majesty the king"

See other formats




1837 AND 1861 



VOL. III. 1854-1861 



Copyright in Great Britain and Dependencies, 1907, by 

In the United States by Messrs LONGMANS, GREEN & Co. 
All rights reserved. 




The Eastern Question Attack on the Prince The French 
alliance The Orleans family The Reform Bill The 
Baltic command The British ultimatum Departure 
of the Guards War declared Cabinet dissensions 
Austrian interests The Sultan Prussian policy 
Marshal St Arnaud Invasion of the Principalities 
Separation of Departments The Russian loan 
Debates on the War Prince Albert and the Emperor 
Napoleon The Crimea Battle of the Alma Maha- 
rajah Dhuleep Singh Attack on Sebastopol Battle 
of Inkerman Death of Sir G. Cathcart A hurricane 
Lord John Russell and the Premiership Miss 
Nightingale's mission . . . . . . . 1-62 


Peace proposals The Four Points Offer of the Garter 
to the Premier Sufferings of the troops in the Crimea 
Resignation of Lord John The Queen's disap- 
proval Lord Palmerston as Leader The Ministry 
defeated Lord Derby sent for Lord Palmerston and 
the Leadership Lord Derby's failure Lord Lans- 
downe consulted Lord John sent for Disappoint- 
ment of Lord John Lord Palmerston to be Premier 
Intervention of Lord Aberdeen The new Cabinet 
The Vienna Conference Resignation of the Peelites 
Death of the Czar Lord Panmure at the War Office 
Negotiations at Vienna Visit of the Emperor 
Russia and the Black Sea Estimate of the Emperor 
Retirement of Canrobert Death of Lord Raglan 
General Simpson in command Lord John resigns 
Battle of the Tchernaya Visit to Paris At the tomb 
of Bonaparte Fall of Sebastopol Life Peerages 
Prince Frederick William of Prussia Offer to Lord 
Stanley France and Austria Visit of the King of 

Sardinia 63-157 





The Conference The Queen's determination Russia 
accepts the terms Sardinia and the Conference 
Protection of neutrals The Crimean enquiry In- 
corporation of Oudh Canning succeeds Dalhousie 
Unclouded horizon in India Future of the Princi- 
palities Birth of the Prince Imperial The Princess 
Royal The Treaty of Paris End of the War 
Garter for Lord Palmerston The Title of Prince Con- 
sort Position of the Queen's husband Retirement of 
Lord Hardinge Appointment of the Duke of Cam- 
bridge Lord Granville's mission Coronation of the 
Czar A Royal proposal Russian procrastination 
Death of Lord Hardinge The Archduke Maximilian 
Affair of Neuchatel Death of Prince Charles of 
Leiningen Dispute with the United States . 



The China War Position of Parties Defeat of the 
Government The General Election The Divorce 
Bill Betrothal of Princess Charlotte of Belgium 
The Indian Mutiny Delhi Cawnpore Marriage of 
Princess Charlotte Visit of the Emperor Napoleon 
Death of Sir Henry Lawrence Condition of Lucknow 
Sir Colin Campbell Reinforcement of Lucknow 
Death of the Duchesse de Nemours Crisis in the City 
Future Government of India Clemency of Lord 
Canning Death of Havelock ..... 



Marriage of Princess Royal The Orsini attentat The Con- 
spiracy Bill Resignation of the Government Lord 
Derby summoned The new Cabinet Trial of Ber- 
nard The Emperor and the Carbonari Capture of 
Lucknow Confirmation of the Prince of Wales The 
second India Bill The Oudh Proclamation Lord 
Ellenborough's despatch A crisis Lord Derby's 
despatch Lord Aberdeen consulted Prerogative of 
Dissolution Collapse of the attack Views of Sir 
James Outram Offer to Mr Gladstone Purification 
of the Thames Visit to Cherbourg British Columbia 
The Ionian Islands The Princess Royal in Prussia 
The India Office Lord Canning's Proclamation 
Napoleon and Italy ....... 








The Emperor Napoleon and M. Hiibner Attitude of the 
Pope Northern Italy The Queen's first grandchild 
Advice to the Emperor Napoleon Meeting of 
Parliament The Indian forces The Prince of Wales 
at Rome Advice to Emperor of Austria Mission of 
Lord Cowley Question of a Conference The summons 
to Sardinia Revolution in the Duchies The compact 
of Plombieres The general election Policy of the 
Emperor Napoleon Meeting a new Parliament 
Question of neutrality Debate on the Address The 
Ministry defeated The Garter for Lord Derby Lord 
Granville summoned The rival leaders Lord 
Palmerston Premier Offer to Mr Cobden India 
pacified Victory of the French The Emperor 
Napoleon's appeal End of the War Ascendancy of 
France Views of the Pope Cavour's disappointment 
Meeting of the Emperors The provisions of Villa- 
franca Italian policy Sardinia and Central Italy 
The Emperor Napoleon and Lord Palmerston Invita- 
tion from President Buchanan Pro-Italian Ministers 
Objections to Sir J. Hudson Divorce Court reports 307-378 



The Emperor Napoleon's pamphlet, The Pope and the Con- 
gress Annexation of Savoy Meeting of Parliament 
Sardinian designs Mr Gladstone's Budget Scene 
at the Tuileries The Emperor and Lord Cowley 
The Swiss protest Death of Prince Hohenlohe The 
Indian Civil Service The Paper Duties The Lords 
and Money Bills Mr Gladstone and resignation The 
Prince of Wales's tour The Volunteer Review 
Flight of the King of Naples The King's appeal to 
Queen Victoria Tour of Prince Alfred Sardinia and 
Naples The Empress of Austria Betrothal of 
Princess Alice Episcopal appointments Visit of the 
Empress Eugenie 




Conservative overtures to Lord Palmerston Illness of 
King of Prussia His death The absorption of 
Naples Garter for new King of Prussia The Pro- 
vostship of Eton Lord John and Garibaldi Death 



of Duchess of Kent Bereavement The war in 
America Recognition of the South Death of Cavour 
Death of Lord Campbell The new Foreign Office 
Earldom for Lord John Russell Swedish politics 
The Emperor Napoleon's aims At Frogmore Visit 
to Ireland Tranquillity of Ireland The Orleans 
Princes The Prussian Coronation Fetes at Berlin 
The Times and Prussia Death of King of Portugal 
The affair of the Trent The Compiegne interview 
An ultimatum The Prince's last letter Illness of the 
Prince The Crisis Sympathy Bereavement 
Death of Lady Canning A noble resolve Comfort 
and hope . ;,. . . , , . . , . . 420-478 

INDEX . 479-520 


AND CHILDREN. From the picture by F. Winter- 
halter at Buckingham Palace .... Frontispiece 


miniature by Sir W. K. Ross at Windsor Castle Facing p. 120 

VISCOUNT PALMERSTON, K.G. From the drawing by 
Sir George Richmond, R.A., in the possession of 
the Earl of Carnwath , 232 

H.R.H. THE PRINCE OF WALES. From a drawing by 

F. Winterhalter, 1859 ,320 

H.R.H. THE PRINCE CONSORT, 1861. From the picture 

by Smith, after Corbould, at Buckingham Palace ,, 472 



AT the meeting of Parliament, on the 31st of January 1854, the 
Ministry were able triumphantly to refute the charge of illegitimate 
interference in State affairs which had been made by a section of the 
Press against Prince Albert ; they were, however, severely attacked 
for not acting with greater vigour in Eastern affairs. In February, 
the Russian Ambassador left London, the Guards were despatched 
to the East, and the Russian Government was peremptorily called 
upon by Great Britain and France to evacuate the Principalities. 
The Peace Party, Bright, Cobden, and others, were active, but 
unheeded ; the Society of Friends sending a pacific but futile depu- 
tation to the Czar. In March, the demand for evacuation being 
disregarded, war was declared, and a treaty of alliance signed be- 
tween England and France ; Lord Raglan and Marshal St Arnaud 
were appointed to command the respective armies, Vice-Admiral 
Sir James Dundas and Sir Charles Napier having command of the 
Mediterranean and Baltic Fleets respectively. The attitude of 
Austria was ambiguous, and, after England and France were com- 
mitted to war, she contracted an offensive and defensive alliance 
with Prussia, each country engaging to make limited preparations 
for war. At home, with a view to greater efficiency, the duties of 
the Secretary of State for War and the Colonies, till then united in a 
single Secretaryship, were divided, the Duke of Newcastle assuming 
the former office, while Sir George Grey became Colonial Secretary ; 
Lord John Russell also resumed office as President of the Council. 
The Russians were unsuccessful in their operations against the Turks, 
notably at Silistria and Giurgevo, while, as the summer advanced, 
public opinion in support of an invasion of the Crimea rose steadily, 
the Times indicated the taking of Sebastopol as indispensable, and 
Lord Aberdeen's hand was forced. On the 28th of June, the Cabinet 
sanctioned a despatch to Lord Raglan, urging (almost to the point of 
directing) an immediate attack upon Sebastopol ; the French Em- 
peror was in favour of the plan, though both Command ers-in- Chief 
entertained doubt as to whether it was immediately feasible. On the 
7th of September, the allied forces (58,000 strong) sailed from Varna, 
a landing being effected a few days later at Old Fort, near Eupatoria ; 
at about the same time an important interview took place at Bou- 
logne between Prince Albert and the Emperor Napoleon. The signal 
victory at the Alma, on the 20th of September, was followed by the 
death of St Arnaud, and the appointment of Canrobert as his sue- 

VQL. Ill 1 


cessor. Decisive successes were next obtained at Balaklava on the 
25th of October, and at Inkerman on the 5th of November ; but on 
the 14th a fierce gale did immense damage to life and property, both 
at Balaklava and on the sea. Meanwhile, indignation at home was 
aroused by the tidings of the breakdown of the commissariat and 
transport departments, and the deplorable state of the hospitals ; 
Miss Florence Nightingale, who had sailed from England with a 
number of nurses, arrived at Scutari early in November, and pro- 
ceeded to remedy deficiencies as far as possible ; while Lord John 
Russell vainly urged on the Premier the substitution of Lord Palmer- 
ston for the Duke of Newcastle as Secretary for War. Sir Charles 
Napier, who, previously to his departure with the Baltic Fleet, had 
been feted at the Reform Club, and extravagantly lauded by Cabinet 
Ministers, was by the month of October engaged in a recriminatory 
correspondence with the First Lord of the Admiralty. At about the 
same time the Patriotic Fund was established under the presidency of 
Prince Albert. 

In Parliament, the last vestige of the old Navigation System, 
limiting the coasting trade to British ships, was repealed, and a Bill 
also passed for preventing corrupt practices at elections. Owing to 
the war, the Reform Bill was withdrawn, Lord John Russell, on 
announcing the fact in Parliament, being overcome, and giving way 
to tears. In the short session, which took place during the latter 
half of December, a Foreign Enlistment Act was passed, providing 
for a force of 10,000 foreigners, to be drilled in this country. 

The Exhibition Building, which had been constructed in Hyde 
Park in 1851, and had been re-erected at Sydenham, was opened with 
great ceremony by the Queen, and was henceforth known as the 
Crystal Palace. 


The Earl of Aberdeen to Queen Victoria. 

LONDON, 6th January 1854. 

LORD ABERDEEN presents his humble duty to your Majesty. 
He cannot wonder at the indignation expressed by your 
Majesty at the base and infamous attacks made upon the Prince 
during the last two or three weeks in some of the daily papers. 1 
They are chiefly to be found in those papers which represent 
ultra-Tory or extreme Radical opinions ; but they are not 
sanctioned by the most respectable portion of the Press. 
Lord Aberdeen has received some information respecting the 
origin of these attacks ; but it is vague and uncertain. At 
all events he believes that your Majesty may safely make your- 
self at ease upon the subject, as he is satisfied that these hostile 
feelings are shared by few. It is much to be desired that some 
notice of the subject may be taken in Parliament, when, by 
being treated in a proper manner, it may be effectually stopped. 
Lord Aberdeen has spoken to Lord John Russell, who will be 
quite prepared to moot it in the House of Commons. 

It cannot be denied that the position of the Prince is some- 
what anomalous, and has not been specially provided for by 
the Constitution ; but the ties of Nature, and the dictates 
of common sense are more powerful than Constitutional 
fictions ; and Lord Aberdeen can only say that he has always 
considered it an inestimable blessing that your Majesty should 
possess so able, so zealous, and so disinterested an adviser. 
It is true that your Ministers are alone responsible for the 
conduct of public affairs, and although there is no man in 
England whose opinion Lord Aberdeen would more highly 
respect and value, still if he had the misfortune of differing 

l A section of the Press, favourable to Lord Palmerston, had insinuated that his re- 
signation was due to " an influence behind the throne." Similar attacks were made by 
other journals, and not abandoned upon Lord Palmerston's re-admission to the Cabinet : 
the most extravagant charges of improper interference in State affairs were made against 
the Prince, and it was even rumoured that he had been impeached for high treason and 
committed to the Tower ! The cartoons in Punch usually present a faithful reflection 
of current popular opinion, and in one of them the Prince was depicted as skating, in 
defiance of warning, over dangerous ice. 


4 PERSIA [CHAP, xxin 

from His Royal Highness, he would not hesitate to act accord- 
ing to his own convictions, and a sense of what was due to your 
Majesty's service. 

The Prince has now been so long before the eyes of the whole 
country, his conduct so invariably devoted to the public good, 
and his life so perfectly inattackable, that Lord Aberdeen 
has not the slightest apprehension of any serious consequences 
arising from these contemptible exhibitions of malevolence 
and faction. 

Your Majesty will graciously pardon Lord Aberdeen for 
writing thus plainly ; but there are occasions on which he 
almost forgets your Majesty's station, and only remembers 
those feelings which are common to all ranks of mankind. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Clarendon. 

WINDSOR CA.STLH, Qth January 1854. 

The Queen thanks Lord Clarendon for his letter just re- 
ceived with the enclosures. 

As the proposed answer to the Emperor contains perhaps 
necessarily only a repetition of what the Queen wrote in her 
former letter, 1 she inclines to the opinion that it will be best 
to defer any answer for the present the more so, as a moment 
might possibly arrive when it would be of advantage to be 
able to write and to refer to the Emperor's last letter. 

With respect to the Persian Expedition 2 the Queen will not 
object to it as the Cabinet appears to have fully considered 
the matter, but she must say that she does not much like it 
in a moral point of view. We are just putting the Emperor of 
Russia under the ban for trying " to bring the Sultan to his 
senses " by the occupation of part of his territory after a 
diplomatic rupture, and are now going to do exactly the same 
thing to the Shah of Persia ! 

The King of the Belgians to Queen Victoria. 

LAEKEJf, 9th January 1854. 

MY DEAREST VICTORIA, I wrote you a most abominable 
scrawl on Friday, and think myself justified in boring you 
with a few words to-day. 

The plot is thickening in every direction, and we may 
expect a great confusion. The dear old Duke used to say 
*' You cannot have a little war." The great politicians of the 

1 See ante, vol. ii. pp. 459. 461, 464. 

2 Under the belief that Persia had declared war against Turkey, and that diplomatic 
relations between England and Persia were suspended, the Cabinet had agreed upon the 
occupation of the Island of ELarak by a British force. 

1854] THE PRESS 5 

Press think differently. The Duke told me also once : " At 
the place where you are you will always have the power to 
force people to go to war." I have used that power to avoid 
complications, and I still think, blessed are the peacemakers. 

How the Emperor could get himself and everybody else into 
this infernal scrape is quite incomprehensible ; the more so as 
I remain convinced that he did not aim at conquest. We have 
very mild weather, and though you liked the cold, still for 
every purpose we must prefer warmth. Many hundred boats 
with coal are frozen up, and I am told that near two hundred 
ships are wanting to arrive at Antwerp. . . . 

I am much plagued also by little parliamentary nonsense 
of our own here, a storm in a bottle ; this is the way of human 
kind, and in such cases it always pleases me to think that I am 
not bound to be always their working slave, and I cast a sly 
look at my beautiful villa on the Lake of Como, quite furnished. 
. . . My beloved Victoria. Your devoted Uncle. 


The King of the Belgians to Queen Victoria. 

LAEKEN, 13th January 1854. 

MY BELOVED VICTORIA, I grieve to see how unjustly you 
are plagued, and how wonderfully untrue and passionate are 
the attacks of part of the Press. Abuse is somewhat the staff 
of life in England, everything, everybody is to be abused ; it is 
a pity, as nothing more unproductive as this everlasting abuse 
can well be imagined. As nothing ever gave the slightest 
opening to this abuse, it is to be hoped that it will be soon got 
over the meeting of Parliament will now do good in this 
respect. As far as your few continental relations are con- 
cerned, I don't think they will be able to fix anything upon 
your faithful servant. I have done England at all times 
good services, in the sense of her best interests. I hold a 
position of great geographical importance for England, just 
opposite the mouth of the Thames. Successes of vanity I am 
never fishing for in England, nor anywhere else. The only 
influence I may exercise is to prevent mischief where I can, 
which occasionally succeeds ; if war can be avoided, and the 
same ends obtained, it is natural that THAT should be tried first. 
Many English superficial newspaper politicians imagine that 
threatening is the thing I believe it the worst of all systems. 
The Emperor Nicholas and Menschikoff wanted by threatening 
the Turks to get certain things, and they have by that means 
got a very troublesome and expensive affair on their hands. 
I wish England too well to like to see it, but one of these days 


they will get into some scrape in the same way. The foolish 
accusation that we are doing all we can to break up the French 
Alliance is certainly the most absurd of all ; if anything can be 
for our local advantage, it is to see England and France closely 
allied, and for a long period for ever I should say. . . . 

I have heard, and that from the Prussian Quarter, that 
great efforts are making on the part of Russia, to gain over 
Louis Napoleon. I understand, however, that though Louis 
Napoleon is not anxious for war, that his opinion is favourable 
to the continuation of a good understanding with England. 
That it should be so is, I must say, highly desirable. The 
poor Orleans will be grieved and hurt by all these things. The 
death of the child of the poor Queen of Spain will not be a 
favourable omen for Spain. 1 . . . 

With my best love to Albert. Believe me ever, my beloved 
Victoria, your truly devoted Uncle, LEOPOLD R. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Aberdeen. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 16th January 1854. 

The Queen sends the answer she has this morning received 
from the Due de Nemours, which she hopes is on the whole 
satisfactory as regards the reported visit of the Count de 
Chambord. 2 The Duke does not see in so strong a light as we 
do, the danger of even the report being believed probably 
from living so much out of the world as he does. What would 
Lord Aberdeen wish her to do farther, and what does he think 
can be done in the way of contradiction ? The Queen wishes 
likewise to have Lord Aberdeen's opinion and advice on the 
following subj ects. He knows that we have invariably received 
the poor Orleans family (in particular our own near relations, 
the Nemours) from time to time here and in London, and that 
the Queen has always from the first year done this openly but 
unostentatiously. It is by no means her intention to change her 
conduct in this respect but since the great noise caused by 
the " fusion " she thought it better not to invite the Nemours 
either to Osborne or here, hoping that by this time these tire- 
some rumours would have ceased. They have not, however, 
and we think that perhaps it would be wiser not to see them 
here, at any rate till after the meeting of Parliament, though 
it is very painful to the Queen to hurt their feelings by apparent 
neglect. Is Lord Aberdeen of this opinion, and does he think 

1 A daughter had been born to the Queen of Spain on the 5th of January, and lived 
only three days. 

2 Son of the Due de Berri, and known formerly as the Due de Bordeaux. (See ante, 
vol. i. p. 495.) The Due de Nemours denied all knowledge of the rumoured visit, and 
thought its importance had been exaggerated. 


that it will not be misconstrued into an admission of having 
encouraged intrigues or of submission to the will and pleasure 
of Louis Napoleon ? 

For the Queen would never submit to such an accusation, 
nor would she continue (after the excitement is past) to ex- 
clude these poor exiles from occasional visits which have been 
paid and received ever since '48, and which would be unworthy 
and ungenerous conduct. 

Likewise does Lord Aberdeen think that a morning visit to 
the Duchess of Aumale to enquire after her health would be 
imprudent ? 

It goes much against the Queen's feelings of generosity and 
kindness to neglect the poor exiles as she has done this winter, 
but the present moment is one of unparalleled excitement and 
of great political importance, which requires great prudence and 
circumspection. There is an admirable article in the Morning 
Chronicle of to-day, taking quite the right line upon the 
infamous and now almost ridiculous attacks on the Queen 
and Prince. Has Lord Aberdeen any idea who could have 
written it ? 

The Queen sends a letter she had received from her Uncle, 
which may amuse and interest him. To make the statement 
of the Queen's intercourse with the Orleans family quite 
clear, she should add, that when the family visit the Queen 
or she visits them, that it is put into the Court Circular, and 
this of course gets copied into country papers and foreign 
papers ; but after consideration the Queen thought this the 
wiser course, for with all the spies who are no doubt about 
if this were not done, and the Queen's visits and vice versa 
were suppressed and yet found out it would give them an air 
of mystery which is just what we wish to avoid. 

The Earl of Aberdeen to Queen Victoria. 

LONDON, nth January 1854. 

. . . With respect to your Majesty's custom of seeing the 
French Royal Family, Lord Aberdeen humbly thinks that 
there is no good reason for making any change. It has always 
taken place without parade or ostentation ; and knowing, as 
Lord Aberdeen does, that no political object is in view, he 
would feel ashamed to advise your Majesty to do anything 
at variance with that sympathy which your Majesty has been 
careful to keep within the bounds of prudence and modera- 
tion. . . . 

Lord Aberdeen hopes that he may venture to congratulate 
your Majesty on the commencement of a change with respect 


to the newspaper attacks upon the Prince. He observed 
the article, to which your Majesty refers, in the Morning 
Chronicle of yesterday ; and he believes he may certainly say 
that it was written by Mr Gladstone, although he would not 
wish it to be known. There was also a very sensible letter in 
the Standard of last night, signed D. C. L. This is the signa- 
ture always assumed by Mr Alexander Hope, 1 in his contribu- 
tions to the Press, and Lord Aberdeen does not doubt that it 
is written by him. It is only a wonder to find it in such a 
quarter ; and it shows some disposition on the part of that 
scurrilous paper to alter its course. There is perhaps no great 
objection to the papers dealing with the subject as they think 
proper, before the meeting of Parliament, provided the Times 
takes no part at present ; for as this paper is supposed to be 
influenced by the Government, this belief would injure the 
effect of anything that might appear in its columns. 2 . . . 

Queen Victoria to Lord John Russell. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 21st January 1854. 

The Queen has received Lord John Russell's letter of the 
19th, and the Bill as now agreed upon by the Cabinet, which 
shs hopes may meet the wishes of the Country and pass into 
law. 3 From what she understands the chief argument used 
in opposition to the measure will be, that corruption and bribery 
is the evil which the Country really complains of, and not an 
unequal distribution of the representation, and that a new 
distribution or even extension of the franchise will not touch 
the evil, and may be said perhaps in some instances to tend 
towards increasing it. The success of the measure will there- 
fore, she concludes, in some degree depend upon the Bribery 
Bills which will accompany it. How far are these advanced ? 
and what expectation has Lord John Russell of succeeding in 
framing such a measure as would remove that ground of 
objection to the Reform Bill ? 

1 Mr. A. J. Hope ("afterwards Beresford-Hope), at this time out of Parliament, had 
written over the signature " D. C. L." a series of letters to the Press on the Papal claims. 

2 On the re-assembling of Parliament, the charges against the Prince were at once 
refuted by the Prime Minister and Lord John Russell ; and his right to assist the Queen 
completely established by those Ministers, with the concurrence of Lord Derby and Mr 
Walpole, on behalf of the Opposition, and Lord Campbell, the Chief Justice of the Queen's 

3 Notwithstanding the impending war, the Government considered itself bound in 
honour to bring in a Reform Bill. Lord Palmerston and his special supporters were 
opposed to the project, but the measure was brought forward on the 13th of February. 
After a chequered career it was withdrawn. The Bill for the prevention of corrupt 
practices at elections was introduced on the 10th of February, and after many vicissitudes 
and several Ministerial defeats in the Commons as well as in the Lords, it was, in a modified 
form, carried. 


Queen Victoria to Mr Gladstone. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 7th February 1854. 

The Queen must apologise for having kept the enclosed 
papers so long, and in now sending them back she does so 
without feeling sure in her mind that she could with safety 
sanction Mr Gladstone's new and important proposal. 1 The 
change it implies will be very great in principle and irretrievable, 
and the Queen must say that Lord John Russell's apprehensions 
as to the spirit it is likely to engender amongst the future civil 
servants of the Crown have excited a similar feeling in her mind. 
Where is moreover the application of the principle of public 
competition to stop, if once established ? and must not those 
offices which are to be exempted from it necessarily degrade 
the persons appointed to them in public estimation ? 

Sir James Graham to Queen Victoria. 

ADMIRALTY, 9th February 1854. 

Sir James Graham, with humble duty, begs to lay before 
your Majesty certain important considerations which were dis- 
cussed at the Cabinet yesterday with respect to the selection of 
a Commander-in-Chief for the Fleet about to be appointed for 
Service in the Baltic. 2 . . . 

Lord Dundonald 3 is seventy-nine years of age ; and though 
his energies and faculties are unbroken, and though, with his 
accustomed courage, he volunteers for the Service, yet, on the 
whole, there is reason to apprehend that he might deeply com- 
mit the Force under his command in some desperate enterprise, 
where the chances of success would not countervail the risk of 
failure and of the fatal consequences, which might ensue. Age 
has not abated the adventurous spirit of this gallant officer, 
which no authority could restrain ; and being uncontrollable 
it might lead to most unfortunate results. The Cabinet, on the 
most careful review of the entire question, decided that the 
appointment of Lord Dundonald was not expedient. . . . 

Sir Charles Napier is an excellent seaman, and combines 

1 Mr Gladstone had written on the 26th of January on the subject of competitive 
examinations for the Civil Service ; in reply to the Queen's letter, he referred to the 
discontent existing in the Service with the system of appointment by favour, and of 
promotion by seniority alone. 

2 War had not yet been declared, but the Russian Ambassador left London on the 7th 
of February, and Sir Hamilton Seymour was recalled from St Petersburg on the same 

3 This was the Lord Cochrane who had been unjustly convicted in 1814, under the 
direction of Lord Ellenborough, Chief Justice, of conspiracy to defraud. His naval 
honours were restored to him in 1832. He is said to have stipulated, on this occasion, 
that he should be allowed to destroy Cronstadt by a chemical process invented by himself. 

VOL. Ill 1* 


boldness with discretion. 1 He has served in large squadrons, 
and he has commanded them. As a Second, he may not have 
been submissive ; as a Chief, he has been successful in com- 
mand. His appointment will give confidence both to officers 
and men ; and his name is not unknown both to enemies and 
allies. If he has the faults of his family, he is not without their 
virtues ; courage, genius, love of country are not wanting ; 
and the weighty responsibilities of high command, without 
oppressing him, would give steadiness to his demeanour. 

He behaved ill to Lord John Russell and to Sir Francis 
Baring ; and on shore he has given just cause of complaint ; 
but at sea and in command he is a different person ; and Lord 
John Russell in the Cabinet yesterday, regardless of all former 
displeasure, pronounced an opinion favourable to the appoint- 
ment of Sir Charles Napier. Lord Aberdeen, also, together 
with the entire Cabinet, came to the same conclusion ; and Sir 
James Graham on their behalf, and in concurrence with his own 
opinion, ventures to ask the permission of your Majesty to 
appoint Sir Charles Napier to this important Naval command. 2 

The above is humbly submitted by your Majesty's dutiful 
Subject and Servant, J. R. G. GRAHAM. 

Queen Victoria to Mr Gladstone. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 17th February 1854. 

The Queen has received Mr Gladstone's letter and memoran- 
dum, and had heard from the Prince the further explanation of 
the grounds upon which he, Mr Gladstone, thinks the new 
regulations respecting the Civil Service necessary. The Queen, 
although not without considerable misgivings, sanctions the 
proposed plan, trusting that Mr Gladstone will do what he can, 
in the arrangements of the details of it, to guard against the 
dangers, which she has pointed out in her former letter and 
through the Prince when he saw Mr Gladstone. A check, for 
instance, would be necessary upon the admission of candidates 
to compete for employment, securing that they should be 
otherwise eligible, besides the display of knowledge which they 
may exhibit under examination. Without this a young man 
might be very ineligible, and still after having been proclaimed 

1 He had had a long naval career. In 1833 he commanded the Portuguese Fleet for 
Donna Maria, and won a small engagement against Dom Miguel. He was " not sub- 
missive " at Beyrout, where, having command of the land forces, and being told to retire 
and hand over the command, he advanced and won a victory, resulting in the evacuation 
of the city. He also disobeyed orders at Acre. 

2 The inadequate results of an appointment which promised so well are described in 
Parker's Sir James Graham, vol. ii. pp. 229 et seq. 


to the world as first in ability, it would require very strong 
evidence of misconduct to justify his exclusion by the Govern- 

Mr Gladstone to Queen Victoria. 

DOWNING STREET, nth February 1854. 

The Chancellor of the Exchequer presents his humble duty 
to your Majesty, and has the honour to acknowledge your 
Majesty's gracious letter. 

He takes blame to himself for having caused your Majesty 
trouble by omitting to include in his short memorandum an 
explanation of the phrase " qualified persons." 

Experience at the universities and public schools of this 
country has shown that in a large majority of cases the test of 
open examination is also an effectual test of character ; as, 
except in very remarkable cases, the previous industry and 
self-denial, which proficiency evinces, are rarely separated from 
general habits of virtue. 

But he humbly assures your Majesty that the utmost pains 
will be taken to provide not only for the majority but for all 
cases, by the strictest enquiries of which the case will admit ; 
and he has the most confident belief that the securities for 
character under the system, although they cannot be unerring, 
will be stronger and more trustworthy than any of which the 
present method of appointment is susceptible. 

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 2lst February 1854. 

MY DEAREST UNCLE, . . . War is, I fear, quite inevitable. 
You will have seen that the Emperor Nicholas has not given a 
favourable answer to our Brother Napoleon (which I hear has 
disappointed him extremely, as he expected very great results 
from it) ; and the last proposals or attempts made by Buol 1 
it is to be hoped will not be accepted by Russia, for France 
and England could not accept them ; but if Austria and 
Prussia go with us as we hope they will the War will only 
be a local one. Our beautiful Guards sail to-morrow. Albert 
inspected them yesterday. George is quite delighted to have 
a division. . . . 

I must now conclude, with Albert's affectionate love. Be- 
lieve me always, your devoted Niece, VICTORIA R. 

1 Austrian Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs. 


Queen Victoria to the Earl of Aberdeen. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 24*ft February 1854. 

The Queen must write to Lord Aberdeen on a subject which 
at this moment appears to her of paramount importance viz., 
the augmentation of the Army. The ten thousand men by 
which it has been ordered to be augmented can hardly be con- 
sidered to have brought it up to more than an improved PEACE 
establishment, such as we have often had during profound peace 
in Europe ; but even these ten thousand men are not yet 
obtained. We have nearly pledged ourselves to sending twenty- 
five thousand men to the East, and this pledge will have to be 
redeemed. To keep even such a force up in the field will require 
a strong, available reserve at home, of which we shall be quite 
denuded. But we are going to make war upon Russia ! 
encouraging Austria and Prussia to do so likewise, whereby we 
assume a moral obligation not to leave them without assistance. 
We engage in a War which may assume in its course a totally 
different character from that of its beginning. Who can say 
it is impossible that our own shores may be threatened by 
powers now in alliance with us ? We are powerless for offence 
or defence without a trained Army ; to obtain this will require 
considerable time. The Queen must, therefore, urge Lord 
Aberdeen to consider with the Cabinet whether it will not be 
essential to augment the Army at once, and by at least thirty 
thousand men. Considerations of home policy make this also 
advisable ; the country is eager for War at this moment, and 
ready to grant men and money. It will be a great facility 
hereafter to have obtained what is most needed at first. If 
the force should finally not be wanted, retrenchments may very 
easily be made. The Crown should at least have the power of 
raising the men without the necessity for further application to 

The Earl of Aberdeen to Queen Victoria. 

LONDON, 26th February 1854. 

Lord Aberdeen, with his humble duty, begs to inform your 
Majesty that another Cabinet was held to-day, in order to 
consider the draft of a letter which it is proposed that Lord 
Clarendon should address to Count Nesselrode, and in which 
he should summon the Russian Government to evacuate 
the Principalities. The messenger will be directed to wait 
six days for an answer, and the British Government will 
consider the refusal or the silence of Count Nesselrode as 


equivalent to a declaration of War, and proceed to act 
accordingly. 1 

An assurance has been received, in general terms, of the 
intention of Austria to support this demand ; and a telegraphic 
message has been sent to Vienna with a desire to know whether 
the Austrian Government will join in this summons, or in what 
manner support will be given. 2 No answer has yet been re- 
ceived, and Lord Aberdeen would think it right not to make the 
summons until Austria has declared her intention ; but the 
Cabinet appears to desire that the letter should be sent to- 
morrow evening. 

The period fixed for the complete evacuation of the Prin- 
cipalities is the 30th of April. 

As it cannot be supposed that the Emperor of Russia will 
listen to such a demand as this, immediate hostilities must be 
expected, with all their consequences. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Aberdeen. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 26th February 1854. 

The Queen has received Lord Aberdeen's letter of this day. 

To be able to form a judgment on the important question 
to which it refers, the Queen would require to be furnished with 
the exact terms of " the general assurance " which Austria has 
given with respect to it. The Queen, however, does not doubt 
for a moment that the gain of a day or two in making the 
summons to Russia could not be compared to the advantage 
of being able to make the summons conjointly with Austria. 
She must therefore wish that the answer to the telegraphic 
message should be awaited before the messenger is sent off. 

Queen Victoria to the, King of the Belgians. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 2Sth February 1854. 

MY DEABEST UNCLE, . . . The news from Austria are quite 
excellent, and much more than we had any reason to expect. 
It, will make a great difference in the nature and duration of 
the War. Our summons to Russia went last night via Paris, 

1 This summons to evacuate the Principalities, and an ultimatum to a similar purport 
from Paris, were delivered to the Czar on the 14th of March ; on their receipt the Czar 
intimated that he did not think it fitting (convenable) that he should make any reply. 
His decision was known in London on the 24th. 

2 The attitude of Austria caused great perplexity. Count Orloff had gone to Vienna 
to obtain a pledge of neutrality in the event of war, but refused to give the Emperor 
Francis Joseph satisfactory assurances as to the Czar's future policy, and, in particular, 
as to the evacuation of the Principalities at the close of the war. The Austrian Govern- 
ment accordingly announced its intention of acting as circumstances might dictate, but 
subsequently limited the assistance which it now expressed itself willing to give to England 
and France in insisting upon the evacuation, to diplomatic support. 


Berlin, and Vienna, and if they are received either with silence, 
or the Emperor refuses to evacuate the Principalities War 
will be considered as declared. The French send a similar 
summons. The messenger is to wait six days for an answer, 
but no longer. 

The last battalion of the Guards (Scots Fusiliers) embarked 
to-day. They passed through the courtyard here at seven 
o'clock this morning. We stood on the balcony to see them 
the morning fine, the sun rising over the towers of old West- 
minster Abbey and an immense crowd collected to see these 
fine men, and cheering them immensely as they with difficulty 
marched along. They formed line, presented arms, and then 
cheered us very heartily, and went off cheering. It was a 
touching and beautiful sight ; many sorrowing friends were 
there, and one saw the shake of many a hand. My best wishes 
and prayers will be with them all. . . . 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Aberdeen. 


The Queen was rather annoyed at the manner in which Lord 
Clarendon pressed the Duke of Cambridge's going to the 
Tuileries last night. 1 She thought it an immense boon upon 
her part to allow the Duke of Cambridge to go to Paris and 
instead of its being considered as such by Lord Clarendon and 
Count Walewski, the Queen was told it would offend the 
Emperor if the Duke did not go to the Tuileries also. The 
Queen observed that it was unnecessary and unusual for the 
Duke, or any Prince almost, to live at the Palace of the Sover- 
eign, unless he was a very particular friend or near relation. 
The Duke of Genoa had refused going there, though he had 
received other civilities here ; in the same manner no Prince 
comes to this Palace unless he is a very near relation or particu- 
lar friend. To this Lord Clarendon replied that it was " be- 
cause the Emperor wished it," which rather shocked the Queen, 
and she spoke strongly to him upon the subject. The result 
was that the Queen said she would speak to the Duke of Cam- 
bridge about it, and see, as the Emperor made so great a point 
of it, and Lord Clarendon considered that the Alliance depended 
upon it, what he would do. . . . 

The Queen must and will protest, for she cannot mix up 
personal friendship with a political Alliance. The former is 
the result of the experience of years of mutual friendship, and 
cannot be carried by storm. . . . 

i The Duke was going to the Crimea, and it was arranged that he should stop at Paris 
on the way. 


There would be nothing unusual in apartments being offered 
to the Duke of Cambridge, and declined by him. This was 
done by the King of the Belgians only last summer at Berlin 
and Vienna, without anybody's construing it into an affront. 
The Queen adds a list of the Royal personages who have been 
in England and never resided at the Palace. Lord Aberdeen 
may show this letter to Lord Clarendon. 

Queen Victoria to Lord John Russell. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 1st March 1854. 

The Queen has to acknowledge Lord John Russell's letter of 
this morning. Much as she must regret the postponement of 
the second reading of the Reform Bill, she must admit its wisdom 
under the present peculiar circumstances ; x but she doubts the 
advantage of naming a precise day after Easter on which it is to 
come on. Considering the importance to the country of pre- 
serving the present Government and of not allowing it to be beat 
on so vital a question, the opportunity should not be lost of 
ascertaining the state of feeling both in the House of Commons 
and in the country after the reassembling of Parliament, before 
the Government decide on entering upon the struggle which 
the carrying through of the measure might entail. It is quite 
impossible now to conjecture with certainty what that state of 
feeling and the general political circumstances at home and 
abroad may be at that time. Possibly the country may be 
more eager then for the measure or the War may disincline 
it altogether towards it. 

The Queen seizes this opportunity of expressing her sense of 
the imperative importance of the Cabinet being united and of one 
mind at this moment, and not to let it appear that there are 
differences of opinion within it. The knowledge that there are 
such is a cause of GBEAT anxiety to the Queen, at a time when 
she is to enter upon a European War, of which nobody can 
confidently predict the extent. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Aberdeen. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 2nd February (? March) 1854. 

In returning these letters to Lord Aberdeen the Queen 
must express to him that there are hints in them which give 
her great uneasiness. The stability of this Government is 
not only of paramount importance at the commencement of the 
War, but throughout it ; the moment for negotiation may 
arrive much sooner than we now expect and then, more 
i See the Queen's letter of the 4th of March, post. 


than now even, the Government ought to be composed of 
the ablest and most moderate men which this Country can 

Queen Victoria to Lord John Russell. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, <ith March 1854. 

The Queen thanks Lord John Russell for his letter received 
this morning. She has read the proceedings in the House of 
Commons with much interest. 1 She was particularly pleased 
with Lord John's second speech, in which he affirmed the 
principle that public men ought not to oppose the regard for 
personal honour or reputation to the well-understood interests 
of the Country. Indeed, the Queen cannot conceive the 
possibility of their collision, as an exclusive regard for the 
well-understood interests of the Country must always redound 
to the honour and reputation of a Statesman. 

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 

OSBORNE, 14th March 1854. 

MY DEAREST UNCLE, Your kind letter of the 9th arrived 
here on Saturday just when we returned from a splendid and 
never-to-be-forgotten sight the sailing of our noble Fleet 
for the Baltic ; 2 the Navy and Nation were particularly 
pleased at my leading them out, as they call it, which in fact 
was the case, as, in our little Fairy we went on and lay to, to 
see them all come out, which (the wind being fair) they did, 
with sails set, each passing us close by, and giving us three 
hearty cheers, as I think none but British tars can give. 
Gloriously they bore along, followed by the prayers and good 
wishes of all. You should read the account in yesterday's 
Times. Another sailing squadron goes to-morrow. The 
Captains and Admirals all took leave on board, and seemed 
much impressed with the solemnity of the moment. . . . 
Ever your truly devoted Niece, VICTORIA B. 

Queen Victoria to the King of Prussia. 

OSBORNE, I7th March 1854. 

DEAR SIR AND BROTHER, General Count von der Groben 

1 Lord John Russell had announced the decision of the Government to postpone till 
the 27th of April the second reading of the Reform Bill, and, in reply to some sarcastic 
comments from Mr Disraeli, stated that he would be ashamed of himself if he preferred 
anything connected with his own personal reputation to the interest of the country. He 
added that the security of the country depended upon its confidence in the character of 
public men. 

2 The Fleet, under Sir Charles Napier, had been assembled at Spithead. 


has brought me the official letter of your Majesty, as well as 
the confidential one, 1 and I send your kind messenger back, 
with these two answers to you. He will be able to tell you, 
orally, what I can express only imperfectly in writing, how 
deep my pain is, after our going so far, faithfully, hand in hand, 
to see you, at this weighty moment, separating yourself from 
us. My pain is still further increased by the fact that I cannot 
even conceive the grounds which move your Majesty to take 
this step. 

The most recent Russian proposals came as an answer to 
the last attempt for an understanding which the Powers 
believed could be arrived at honourably, and they have been 
rejected by the Vienna Conference, not because they were not 
in accordance with the literal wording of the programme, but 
because they were contrary to the intention of it. Your 
Majesty's Ambassador has taken part in this Conference and 
its decision, and when your Majesty now says : " The task 
of Diplomacy ceases at the exact point where that of the 
Sovereigns emphatically begins " ; I am unable to assent to 
such a definition. For what my Ambassador does, he does in 
my name, and I feel myself not only bound in honour thereby, 
but also placed under an obligation to take upon myself the 
consequences which the step which he is directed to take may 
lead to. 

The dreadful and incalculable consequences of a War weigh 
upon my heart not less than on your Majesty's. I also know 
that the Emperor of Russia does not wish for it. He, none 
the less, demands from the Porte things which all the Powers 
of Europe among them, yourself have solemnly declared 
to be incompatible with the independence of the Porte, and 
the European balance of power. In view of this declaration 
and of the presence of the Russian Army of invasion in the 
Principalities, the Powers could not but be ready to confirm 
their word by action. If " the Turk " now goes into the 
background, and if the approaching War appears to you as a 
" War of tendency " this is the case only because the very 
motives which may induce the Emperor to insist on his de- 
mands in defiance of the opposition of the whole of Europe, 
and with the danger of a War that may devastate the 
world, do betray a distinct tendency, and because the grave 
consequences of the War must appear much more momen- 

l The Prussian Court considered itself under no obligation to engage in the impending 
struggle, till its own interests became directly involved ; it would not (said Baron Man- 
teuffel, President of the Ministry, on the 18th of March) take part, for the protection of the 
integrity of the Ottoman Empire, " in a conflict, the full scope of which cannot yet be 
apprehended, and the original subject-matter of which does not affect the interests of 
our fatherland." 


tous than the original ostensible cause of it, which at first 
appeared only as the request for a key to the back door of 
a mosque. 

Your Majesty asks me " to examine the question in a spirit 
of love for peace, and even now to build a bridge for the 
Imperial honour." Ah, my dear Sir and Brother, all the in- 
ventive gifts, all the architecture of diplomacy and of goodwill, 
have been uselessly wasted during these last nine months in 
this bridge-building ! The Projets de Notes, de Conventions, de 
Protocoles, etc., etc., have proceeded, by the dozen, from the 
Chancelleries of the different Powers, and one might call the 
ink wasted on them another Black Sea. But everything has 
been shipwrecked against the self-will of your honourable 

If now your Majesty informs me " that now you mean to per- 
sist in complete neutrality," and if, on this occasion, you refer 
us to your Nation, who are said to exclaim with sound common 
sense : " Acts of violence have been done by the Turks, the 
Turk has good friends in large numbers, and the Emperor has 
done us no harm ' ' I do not understand you. Certainly I 
should understand this language if I heard it from the Kings 
of Hanover or of Saxony. But I have, hitherto, looked upon 
Prussia as one of the Great Powers which, since the peace of 
1815, have been guarantors of treaties, guardians of civilisa- 
tion, defenders of the right, the real arbiters of the Nations ; 
and for my part I have felt the divine responsibility of this 
sacred office, without undervaluing at the same time the heavy 
obligation, not unconnected with danger, which it imposes on 
me. If you, dear Sir and Brother, abdicate these obligations, 
you have also abdicated that position for Prussia. And 
should such an example find imitators, then the civilisation of 
Europe would be delivered up to the play of winds ; right will 
then no longer find a champion, the oppressed will find no 
longer an umpire. 

Let not your Majesty believe that what has been said in this 
letter is aimed at persuading you to change your resolves ; it 
flows from the affectionate heart of a sister, who could not 
pardon herself, were she not, at so weighty a moment, to let 
you see into her inmost soul. So little is it my intention to 
desire to win you over to our view, that nothing has grieved me 
more than the suspicion, expressed in your name by General 
von der Groben, that England had desired to seduce you 
from your purpose by opening a prospect of advantages to 
be gained. The baselessness of such a supposition is evident 
from the Treaty itself which had been offered to you, and 
whose most important clause consisted in the promise of the 

1854] WAR DECLARED 19 

contracting parties, not to desire in any case to derive from the 
Viar any advantage for themselves. 

Your Majesty could not have given a more powerful proof 
of your unselfishness than by the very fact of attaching your 
signature to this Treaty. 

To come to a close. You suppose that War may already 
have been declared ; you express, however, at the same time, 
the hope that it may not already have actually broken out. 
I cannot unfortunately hold out any hope that the sentence 
will be followed by any stay of execution. Shakespeare's 
words : 

" Beware 

Of entrance to a quarrel ; but, being in, 
Bear it that the opposer may beware of thee," 

are deeply engraved on the hearts of all Englishmen. Sad 
that they are to find an application at this crisis, in a nation 
with whom previously nothing prevailed but friendship and 
affection ! And how much more melancholy must be the 
present emotions of your Majesty's heart and mind to see such 
words applied to a beloved brother-in-law, whom yet how- 
ever much you love him your conscience cannot absolve 
from the crime of having brought upon the world wilfully and 
frivolously such awful misery ! 

May the Almighty take you under His protection ! 

With Albert's most cordial compliments, and our united 
greetings to the dear Queen, I remain, my much honoured Sir 
and Brother, your Majesty's faithful Sister and Friend, 


Queen Victoria to the Earl of Aberdeen. 

1st April 1854. 

The Queen rejoices to see the Debate was favourable in the 
House of Lords, and that it was concluded in the House of 
Commons. 2 

She is rather startled at seeing Lord Aberdeen's answer to 
Lord Roden upon the subject of a day of humiliation, as he has 
never mentioned the subject to her, and it is one upon which 
she feels strongly. The only thing the Queen ever heard about 

1 The King afterwards agreed to the proposed protocol for the preservation of the 
integrity of Turkey, which was signed at Vienna on the 7th of April. 

2 On the 27th of March the Queen announced to Parliament that the negotiations with 
the Czar had terminated, and that she felt bound " to afford active assistance to her ally, 
the Sultan." Next day the Declaration of War was issued, containing a narrative of 
the events which finally led to the rupture. The debates on the Address in answer to the 
message took place on the Mist of March, Mr Bright, in the Commons, censuring the 
declaration, and being replied to by Lord Palmerston. The addresses were presented to 
the Queen on the 3rd of April. 


it was from the Duke of Newcastle, who suggested the possi- 
bility of an appropriate prayer being introduced into the 
Liturgy, in which the Queen quite agreed ; but he was 
strongly against a day of humiliation, in which the Queen also 
entirely agreed, as she thinks we have recourse to them far 
too often, and they thereby lose their effect. The Queen there- 
fore hopes that this will be reconsidered carefully, and a prayer 
substituted for the day of humiliation. Were the services 
selected for these days of a different kind to what they are the 
the Queen would feel less strongly about it ; but they always 
select chapters from the Old Testament and Psalms which 
are so totally inapplicable that it does away with all the effect 
it ought to have. Moreover, really to say (as we probably 
should) that the great sinfulness of the nation has brought 
about this War, when it is the selfishness and ambition of one 
man and his servants who have brought this about, while our 
conduct has been throughout actuated by unselfishness and 
honesty, would be too manifestly repulsive to the feelings 
of every one, and would be a mere act of hypocrisy. Let 
there be a prayer expressive of our great thanklulness for the 
benefits we have enjoyed, and for the immense prosperity of this 
country, and entreating God's help and protection in the 
coming struggle. In this the Queen would join heart and soul. 
If there is to be a day set apart, let it be for prayer in this sense. 

Queen Victoria to Lord John Russell. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 9th April 1854. 

The Queen is anxious to express to Lord John Russell the 
extreme satisfaction she experiences at the communication 
Lord Aberdeen yesterday evening made her of the settlement 
of the Reform Question, viz., of its postponement for the 
present Session, with the understanding that it is to be brought 
forward again whenever the state of affairs will admit of its 
being fairly and calmly considered by Parliament. 1 The 
sacrifice of personal feeling which no doubt this may cost Lord 
John will, she is certain, be amply compensated by the con- 
viction that he has done so for the interest and tranquillity 
of his Sovereign and Country, to whom a dissolution of the 
present Government would have been a source of immense 
danger and evil. 

l From a memorandum, made by Prince Albert, of interviews with Lord Aberdeen, 
it appears that before the Cabinet of the 8th of April Lord Palmerston declared that under 
neither present nor any future conditions could he vote for the second reading of the 
Reform Bill. Lord John thereupon tendered his resignation ; this Lord Aberdeen asked 
him to suspend until after the meeting of the Cabinet. 


Lord John Russell to Queen Victoria. 

PEMBROKE LODGE, 9th April 1854. 

Lord John Russell presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty; he cannot think it consistent with fairness to 
conceal from your Majesty the deep feelings of mortification 
which affect him on reviewing the proceedings of the Cabinet 
yesterday. 1 

Lord Aberdeen was the only person who behaved with due 
regard to the honour of the Administration. The rest ap- 
peared ready to sacrifice everything in order to keep the Min- 
istry together ; and Lord John Russell feels bound to warn your 
Majesty that, although he was quite willing to waive the con- 
sideration of the Reform Bill for the present Session, he is not 
ready to consent that it shall be entirely set aside in order to 
keep together a Ministry whose continuance would be dearly 
bought at the price of the welfare of the Country, and the 
consistency of public men. Lord John Russell must reflect 
further on this subject before he comes to a final determination. 

Queen Victoria to Lord John Russell. 


The Queen received Lord John Russell's letter last night. 
She is much grieved that he should be " affected by deep 
feelings of mortification on reviewing the proceedings of the 
Cabinet." From all the Queen had heard of the views of the 
different members of the Cabinet, she believes them to have 
been fully convinced that the present moment would be in- 
opportune to press the Reform Bill, but quite prepared to take it 
up again on the first fitting opportunity ; she, of course, does 
not speak of Lord Palmerston. 

The Queen would, no more than Lord John, wish to see 
" the Reform Bill set aside in order to keep together a Min- 
istry," but does not consider the decision of the Cabinet at 
all to imply this, whatever Lord Palmerston's personal wishes 
may be, and trusts that the Country will fully understand and 

1 Lord John Russell's actions at this period of his career seem often incomprehensible ; 
but his private domestic anxieties seem to have weighed him down. Having made the 
great sacrifice, for an ex-Premier, of taking office under an old opponent, he was now 
engaged in trying to regain the first place for himself. Lord Aberdeen had always con- 
templated retiring in his favour, but would not give up the Premiership in the face of the 
dangers threatening the country. Moreover, he had believed his continuance in office to 
be a guarantee for peace. Lord John Russell, after accepting the Foreign Office, had 
then insisted on being a Minister without office ; later still, by displacing Mr Strutt and 
transferring Lord Granville to the Duchy, he himself became Lord President of the 
Council, an office which no commoner had held since the reign of Henry VIII. By such 
action, coupled with perpetual threats of resignation, he marred his prospectsof succeeding 
Lord Aberdeen, and, as will be seen, failed in his attempt to construct an Administration 
when the opportunity was offered him. 


appreciate the motives which have guided the Government. 
Lord Aberdeen and Lord John will always receive every sup- 
port from the Queen when they shall think it right to propose 
the re-introduction of the measure. 

Memorandum by the Prince Albert. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 10th April 1854. 

Lord Aberdeen has just left the Queen, after an interview 
which he had had with Sir James Graham and Lord John 
Russell at Lord John's request. He reported that at that 
interview Lord John renewed his complaint of the Cabinet, 
declared that he could not state to the House what was untrue, 
and must therefore resign. Lord Aberdeen called this " really 
too monstrous " after the pledge given by the Sovereign, him- 
self as Prime Minister, and the whole Cabinet, with the ex- 
ception of one man, and he would repeat his promise that 
whenever Lord John said, " The Reform Bill is to come on," 
and Lord Palmerston opposed it, he should go. 

Lord John could not be appeased, but spoke with the greatest 
bitterness. He had written to Lord Palmerston in the same 
sense ; and Lord Palmerston's answer arrived during the 
interview. It was to the effect that if one of them was to resign, 
it was not Lord John, who agreed with the rest of the Cabinet 
upon the Bill, but himself, who was the dissentient. Lord 
Aberdeen asked Lord John whether Lord Palmerston's resigna- 
tion would satisfy him ; to which he answered, he believed it 
would not mend matters. Lord Aberdeen's opinion, however, 
is that it is what Lord John, and still more what Lady John, 
wants. He thinks the Country will never understand how the 
Government could break up, and that Lord John is cutting 
his own throat, and told him so. If Lord John went, he could 
not go on with Lord Palmerston as Leader of the House of 
Commons, which he called " perfectly ludicrous." Lord 
Palmerston would probably insist upon this, however ; Lord 
Palmerston's retirement would be a great blow to the Govern- 
ment, as the Country persisted in thinking him the only able 
War Minister, and would cry out at " the imbecile old Head 
of the Government having it now all his own way." He 
thought, should he not be able to go on, new combinations 
could be formed, perhaps under the Duke of Newcastle and 
Mr Gladstone, as the Country liked younger men. Lord 
John must give his answer in the House of Commons to- 
morrow at half-past four. Lord Aberdeen would wish to see 
the Duke of Newcastle, Sir James Graham, and Mr Gladstone, 
as his more particular friends, this evening, to discuss the 


whole question with them, and would see Lord Palmerston 
and Lord John to-morrow, before he could make any report 
to the Queen. 

This is all really very bad ! ALBERT. 

Lord John Eussell to Queen Victoria. 

CHESHAM PLACE, llth April 1854. 

Lord John Russell presents his humble duty to your Majesty ; 
he has the honour to acknowledge, with gratitude, your Maj esty 's 
communication of yesterday. Lord John Russell waited to 
see Lord Aberdeen before he answered, and having now had a 
long conversation with him, Lord John Russell being assured 
of your Majesty's support, of Lord Aberdeen's concurrence, and 
of the assent of the majority of his colleagues, is willing to 
continue his humble services in the Cabinet, and in the House 
of Commons. 

Lord John Russell must ask your Majesty to excuse what 
may have seemed intemperate in his letter of Sunday last. 
He is still of opinion that without public confidence in his 
integrity and uprightness he can be of no use to your Majesty, 
or to the Country. 

And on that confidence must depend the continuance of his 
services. 1 

Memorandum by the Prince Albert. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, llth April 1854. 

We saw Lord Aberdeen at three o'clock to-day, who reported 
to the Queen that the change of mind of Lord John had been 
the result of an hour and a half's discussion with him this 
morning. He must admit, however, that he found Lord John 
in a mood willing to let himself be convinced. The Queen's 
letter might have contributed to this as well as the entreaties 
of the Duke of Bedford and Lord Lansdowne. Lord Aberdeen 
could tell Lord John in truth that there was not a shadow of 
difference of opinion amongst any of his friends, that he would 
lose himself for ever, and meet with universal reprobation, if 
he persisted in resigning after every cause for it had been 
removed, and he had agreed to the course Lord Palmerston had 
insisted upon. Lord Palmerston had written a very clever 
letter to Lord John, begging him not to desert the Queen and 

1 On the same day Lord John announced in the Commons the withdrawal of the 
Reform Bill. He admitted that this course would expose him to the taunts and sarcasms 
of his opponents, and to the suspicions of his supporters. Here " his feelings overcame 
him, and, as he used the word ' suspicion ' in reference to his motive, his utterance was 
choked, and the sentence he struggled to pronounce was evidently given through tears." 
(Ann. Reg., 1854, p. 120.) Loud and sympathetic cheers followed from all parts of the 


the Country, which, if he read it to the House of Commons, 
would floor Lord John completely. 

We asked what had been agreed upon at yesterday evening's 
meeting. Lord Aberdeen told us the decision, under the 
impression that Lord John would resign, had been for Lord 
Aberdeen to call upon Lord Palmerston, and to explain to him 
that although he had acted cordially with him as a Colleague 
in this Government, yet they had been political antagonists 
during their whole lives the Government also was still a 
Reform Government ; from personal, therefore, as well as 
public, reasons it was impossible that he should be entrusted 
with the lead of the House of Commons, being the only anti- 
Reformer. And it was hoped that he would have no difficulty 
in letting Mr Gladstone lead the House, as Sir James Graham 
was the same age and political standing with Lord Palmerston, 
but at once cheerfully contented to waive all his claims in favour 
of Mr Gladstone. ALBERT. 

The Duke of Cambridge to Queen Victoria* 

VIENNA, 2Sth April 1854. 

MY DEAR COUSIN, Before leaving this place I think it right 
that I should once more trouble you with a letter, to inform 
you that the messenger has arrived who brought your autograph 
letter for the Emperor, which I presented to him to-day at an 
audience I had for this purpose. ... I had a very long and most 
interesting conversation with the Emperor, who opened frankly 
and fairly upon the great questions of the day. The impression 
he made upon me was an excellent one, his confidence and 
frankness are complete, and I have the firm conviction that 
he is a man of his word, and that he never would say a thing 
that he did not in his heart mean. The result of what he said 
was the following : that he naturally was most distressed at all 
that had occurred ; that he was placed by the Emperor of 
Russia in a most difficult position ; that he quite disapproved 
his acts ; but that he could not but have a great disinclination 
to break with a very old ally ; and that even still he hoped this 
painful step might be spared to him by the Emperor of Russia 
making some proposal so honourable to all parties, that it would 
not be rejected by the Western Powers, who would naturally 
not be disinclined to a peace, honourable to themselves and 
tranquillising for the future ; that the basis of such treaty 

1 The English forces destined for the East were under the command of Lord Kaglan 
(formerly Lord Fitzroy Somerset). The Duke of Cambridge commanded one infantry 
division, the other three being respectively under Sir George Brown, Sir De Lacy Evans, 
and Sir Richard England ; the cavalry division was commanded by the Earl of Lucan, 
General Scarlett commanding the heavy cavalry, and Lord Cardigan the Light Brigade. 


would be the position of the Christian population of the East ; 
that this might be discussed in Conference, the Russians having 
first evacuated the Principalities, upon which the Turks would 
hold the right bank of the Danube, our Fleets to await events 
in the Bosphorus, and our armies at Constantinople, such posi- 
tion being highly honourable and advantageous to us in the 
eyes of Europe, and certainly not nearly so favourable to 
Russia ; that he was certainly sensible that the English Govern- 
ment had not pressed him, feeling as they had done the extreme 
delicacy of his position, and the great extent of his frontier so 
easily attacked ; that he did riot wish to say now, till the 
moment of decision came, thinking it more honourable and 
straightforward not to raise false expectations, but that his 
interests being so completely with us, should the Emperor of 
Russia do nothing in the honourable direction he hoped to see 
him adopt, he should then consider himself called upon to 
express frankly to us what he proposed to do, in order that our 
action might become united and of advantage to one another. 
He further thought that the treaty with Prussia would greatly 
facilitate all this, as Prussia had acceded to the wishes of Aus- 
tria in the event of certain eventualities, which, however, for 
the moment are not named, but which, as far as I understand, 
go to the length of leaving Austria unfettered to act as she likes 
at the moment when she considers her so doing essential to her 
position as a young Empire. It is quite evident to me that this 
is the general feeling here, amongst all those who have any 
weight in the councils of the Empire. These are Austrian views, 
and I must say I can understand them and appreciate them as 
such. I am confident, I am certain, they are honest on the part 
of the Emperor, and I doubt not he will carry them through to 
the letter, for I am confident the Emperor never would say 
what he did not mean. Rely upon it, this Country will never 
go with Russia ; she knows her interests, too well for that ; she 
would like to avoid a War altogether if she could, and with that 
view she would be delighted to see some honourable and accept- 
able proposal made, but should this fail she will then take a 
very decided line, and that line will be in accordance with 
Austrian interests which means with us. I find that most of 
the more prudent people, and many of those in high office, are 
fully alive to the advantages of the English alliance, and would 
wish to see this alliance confirmed de novo ; and I think it would 
be very well for us to meet them half-way with this. But then 
it would be better to avoid all after-dinner speeches such as 
those at the Reform Club, 1 all Polish legions such as are talked 

i At a dinner given on the 7th of March by the Bef orm Club to Sir Charles Napier, Lord 
Palmerston, who was in the chair, and Sir James Graham, had made provocative and un- 


of, and in short any of these little matters, which are painfully 
felt here, and which always produce an uncomfortable and dis- 
trustful effect. The Emperor expressed himself in the most 
grateful manner towards yourself, and I think is pleased at your 
having permitted me to be present on this occasion. . . . Hoping 
that you will approve of my humble endeavours here, and with 
sincere regards to Albert, I beg to remain, my dear Cousin, 
your most dutiful Cousin, GEOKGE. 

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 


MY DEAKEST UNCLE, Accept my best thanks for your kind 
letter of the 5th. I return you the Emperor's kind letter. 
Nothing could be more satisfactory than the reception George 
met with by everybody at Vienna beginning with the Em- 
peror. They showed him much confidence, and he obtained 
from them intelligence which I think no one else would. The 
Fleets have done their duty admirably at Odessa ; x the town 
has not been touched, and all the fortifications and many ships 
have been destroyed. . . . 

We had a concert last night, and I saw good Sir H. Seymour, 
who is full of your kindness and goodness ; and a most worthy, 
honourable and courageous little man he is. 2 If the poor 
Emperor Nicholas had had a few such nous ne serions pas ou 
nous en sommes. But unfortunately the Emperor does 
not like being told what is unpleasant and contrary to his 
wishes, and gets very violent when he hears the real truth 
which consequently is not told him ! There is the misery of 
being violent and passionate ; if Princes and still more Kings 
and Emperors are so, no one will ever tell them the truth, 
and how dreadful that is ! I think one never can be too 
careful in bringing up Princes to inculcate the principle of 

We have a good deal of rain and thunder since yesterday, 
which I hope will revive poor parched Nature. I must now 

becoming speeches ; on attention being called in Parliament to the proceedings, Mr 
Bright complained of the reckless levity displayed ; Lord Palmerston made a flippant and 
undignified defence, the tone of which was much resented. 

1 In consequence of the Russians firing upon a flag of truce, Odessa was bombarded 
on the 22nd of April, and most of its batteries silenced or destroyed. 

2 The conversations of Sir Hamilton Seymour and the Emperor Nicholas in the year 
1853 had now been given to the world. The Czar, believing the time ripe for the dis- 
memberment of Turkey, had expressed himself openly to the British Ambassador, and 
the conversations were all reported to the British Ministry. On the 2nd of March 1854. 
an obviously inspired article in the Journal de St. Petersbourg professed to contradict the 
statements of Lord John Russell in the House of Commons reflecting on the bad faith of 
the Russian Government, and accordingly, in their own vindication, the English Cabinet 
now published the conversations above referred to. 

1854] THE SULTAN 27 

wish you good-bye, as I expect dear Victoire shortly. Nemours 
intends going to fetch the Queen. With Albert's love, ever 
your devoted Niece, VICTORIA R. 

The Duke of Cambridge to Queen Victoria. 


MY DEAR, COUSIN, I have not as yet announced to you my 
safe arrival here, as I was anxious first to see the Sultan and 
the general state of things before giving you a report of what 
was really going on. . . . 

I found a great proportion of the Infantry arrived, a portion 
of the Artillery, but as yet no Cavalry. Lord Raglan is well 
and in good spirits, Lord Stratford de Redcliffe ill in bed with 
a bad fit of the gout most miserable to see in every respect. 
The Sultan 1 received me at once on the day of arrival, and 
made his return visit to me yesterday. I confess I was not 
much impressed with either his appearance or general ability. 
He is, to say the truth, a wretched creature, prematurely aged, 
and having nothing whatever to say for himself. A few com- 
monplace civilities was all the conversation which passed 
between us. I said everything I could think of to make a 
conversation, among other things messages of civility from 
yourself ; but though he appeared pleased and expressed his 
satisfaction at our being here, I could not get him to enter into 
anything, and I was not sorry on both occasions when our inter- 
view was at an end. As to his Ministers, and in fact the whole 
population and country, with the exception of Redschid Pasha, 2 
they are all a most wretched and miserable set of people, and 
far, far worse than anything I could possibly have imagined or 
supposed. In fact, the " sick man " is excessively sick indeed, 
dying as fast as possible ; and the sooner diplomacy disposes 
of him the better, for no earthly power can save him, that is 
very evident. This is the opinion of every person out here of 
both armies, French and English, and you may rest assured 
it is the truth. The great thing is that we are here and no other 
Power can now step in, but diplomacy must settle what is to 
happen, for as to the Turks remaining in Europe that is out 
of the question, and the very fact of our being here now has 
given them their death-blow. I hope, my dear cousin, you 
will forgive me for being very candid on this point, but I really 
do not think that anybody in England had any idea of the real 
state of affairs here. The sooner therefore that they are put 

1 Abdul Medjid, born 1823, who had succeeded to the throne at the time of the Syrian 
War ; see ante, vol. i. p. 182. 

2 Minister of Foreign Affairs, born 1802, died 1858. 


in possession of the truth unvarnished the better. The great 
and imperative necessity is that the four Powers of Europe 
should strike together, otherwise things will become much 
worse than they are even at present. Everybody is very civil 
and obliging to me, the Sultan has put me into one of his best 
Palaces, very nicely fitted up, and is anxious to do everything 
I wish. I find it inconvenient, as the troops are on the other 
side of the Bosphorus, and I therefore intend going over there 
to reside if possible. Marshal St Arnaud is here and Prince 
Napoleon, but no French troops. I have seen the latter once ; 
he was very civil indeed to me, but I do not think he has made 
at all a good impression here, his manner being offensive and 
harsh. I do not think the Army like him at all. I am afraid 
the French Ambassador is giving much trouble. Neither St 
Arnaud nor the Prince like him at all, and I believe they have 
written to demand his recall, which would be a very good thing, 
as he cannot hit it off with anybody. As to our movements. 
I know nothing of them as yet, nor do I think that much has 
as yet been settled, but I fear we shall not be fit to move for 
some time ; the difficulty of transport is very great, our Artil- 
lery only partly arrived, and no Cavalry. We require more 
troops, more particularly of the latter arm, in which the Rus- 
sians are very strong. We ought to have at least 10,000 men 
more, and the sooner they are sent out the better. Even that 
number is not enough, for the French talk of 100,000 men, and 
we should be in a most dreadful minority unless we had 40,000 
to 50,000. I am afraid all this will alarm people in England, 
but it is' the truth. ... I remain, my dear Cousin, your most 
dutiful Cousin, GEORGE. 

We never hear any news here. All that does come to us 
generally comes by way of Europe ; another proof of what a 
miserable country this is. 

The King of Prussia to Queen Victoria. 

SANS Souci, 24th May 1854. 

MOST GRACIOUS QUEEN, . . . My policy, 1 which has been so 
terribly criticised and derided as " vacillating," has been, since 
the beginning of this most inauspicious conflict, one and the 
same, and without a Jmirsbreadth of deviation either to the right 
or to the left. As it rests on the unshakable foundation which 
my conscience as a King and a Christian has laid down, and 
which does not admit que je fasse la besogne ni de Vun ni de 

1 In the previous portion of this long letter, here omitted, the King gives a detailed 
account of his position and policy. 


Vautre parti, I am abused and insulted at the Winter Palace, 
and regarded, by way of contrast in London and Paris, as a kind 
of simpleton neither of which is pleasant. 

May your Majesty believe my Royal Word : I was, I am, 
I remain the truest and most faithful friend of Great Britain, 
as well in principle as from religious feeling and from true affec- 
tion. I desire and practise a good and honest understanding 
with France ; but when it comes to helping the French to 
whom Prussia's geographical position between Paris and War- 
saw is very inconvenient to pull the chestnuts from the fire for 
them, for such a task I am frankly too good. If the Emperor 
wishes to force me to assist as evidently he is inclined to do 
it will end by becoming too difficult for him. He ought to 
thank God that my view of Russian policy and my fidelity to 
your Majesty have prevented me from making him begin this 
Turkish War on the other side of his own frontier. The great 
advantage of this result is totally forgotten in France, and, 
unfortunately, in England too. Those who every day fill the 
papers of home and foreign countries with accounts of my 
vacillations, nay, who represent me as leaping from my own 
horse on to a Russian one, are inventing lies, in a great measure, 
deliberately. I tell your Majesty, on my honour and con- 
science, that my policy is to-day the same as it was nine months 
ago. I have recognised it as my duty before God to preserve, 
for my people and my provinces, peace, because I recognise 
Peace as a blessing and War as a curse. I cannot and will not 
side with Russia, because Russia's arrogance and wickedness 
have caused this horrible trouble, and because duty and con- 
science and tradition forbid me to draw the sword against Old 
England. In the same degree duty and conscience forbid me 
to make unprovoked war against Russia, because Russia, so 
far, has done me no harm. So I thought, so I willed when I 
thought myself isolated. How then could I now suddenly 
abandon a steady policy, preserved in the face of many dangers, 
and incline to Russia at the moment when I have concluded 
with Austria an Alliance defensive and offensive, in which (if 
God grant His blessing) the whole of Germany will join in a few 
days, thus welding, for the entire duration of the War, the 
whole of Central Europe into a Unity, comprising 72,000,000 
people, and easily able to put 1,000,000 men into the field ? 
And yet, most gracious Queen, I do not take up a defiant posi- 
tion on the strength of this enormous power, but I trust in the 
Lord's help and my own sacred Right ; I also believe, honestly 
and firmly, that the character of a so-called Great Power must 
justify itself, not by swimming with the current, but by standing 
firm like a rock in the sea. 


I close this letter which, in consequence of various inter- 
ruptions, is almost a week old, on the 24th of May. This is 
your birthday, ever dearest, most gracious Queen. On this 
day I lay at your Majesty's feet the expression of my wishes 
for every blessing. May God grant your Majesty a joyful 
day, and a richly blessed year of rule. May He strengthen, 
preserve, and invigorate your precious health, and may He 
give you, within the three hundred and sixty-five days of the 
year of your life which begins to-day, that one day of over- 
abundant blessing, of unspeakable joy, for which I long, for 
which I pray to God that blissful day on which you can utter 
the word PEACE. 

Now I beg your Majesty from the bottom of my heart not 
to be angry with me for my unconscionably long letter, nor to 
worry yourself about sending an answer, but, on the other hand, 
graciously to keep it secret, communicating it only to the dear 
Prince. It is a matter of course that the facts which it con- 
tains, and the resulting explanations, which may be of import- 
ance for your Majesty's Government, must, from their nature, 
no longer be kept secret, so soon as you think it right to announce 
them. I embrace the dear Prince tenderly, and commend 
myself to the grace, goodwill, and friendship of my august 
Royal Sister, I being your Majesty's most faithfully devoted, 
most attached Servant and Good Brother, 


Queen Victoria to the Duke of Newcastle. 

OSBORNB, 2Qth May 1854. 

The Queen acknowledges the receipt of the Duke of New- 
castle's letter, which she received quite early this morning. 

The Duke of Cambridge's letter does not give a nourishing 
account of the state of Turkey. What alarms the Queen most 
is the news given by the Duke of Newcastle of the pretensions 
of Marshal St Arnaud. 1 She does not quite understand 
whether he has received the supreme command over the 
Turkish Army, but at any rate if the Porte should be willing 
to allow its Army to be placed under Foreign Command, a 
portion of it ought to be claimed by us for Lord Raglan, which, 
joined to his English forces, would produce an Army capable 
of taking the field independently. 

1 The Duke had written to say that a demand had been made by Marshal St Arnaud 
upon the Porte that Omar Pasha should be superseded, and the Turkish Army placed 
under his (St Arnaud's) orders ; also that Marshal St ' Arnaud was desirous of assuming 
the supreme command of the allied forces. The incident is graphically recorded by Mr 


The Queen trusts that the Government will take this into 
serious consideration, and, if they should concur in this view, 
that no time will be lost. 

Queen Victoria to the King of Prussia. 


DEAREST SIR AND BROTHER, Your faithful Bunsen has 
handed me your Majesty's long explanatory letter, and has 
taken his leave of us, 1 with tears in his eyes, and I can assure 
your Majesty that I, too, see with pain the departure of one 
whom I have been accustomed to consider as the faithful mirror 
of your feelings, wishes, and views, and whose depth and 
warmth of heart I esteem no less highly than his high mental 
gifts. Sympathy with his fate is general here. I entirely 
recognise in your letter the expression of your friendship, which 
is so dear to me, and which does not admit any sort of mis- 
understanding to exist between us, without my endeavouring 
at once to clear it up and remove it. How could I meet your 
friendship otherwise than by equally absolute frankness, 
allowing you to look into my inmost heart ! Though you have 
shown me a proof of your gracious confidence in giving me, 
down to the smallest detail, an account of your personal and 
business relations with your servants, I still believe that I 
have no right to formulate any judgment. Only one thing 
my heart bids me to express, viz., that the men with whom you 
have broken were faithful, veracious servants, warmly devoted 
to you, and that just by the freedom and independence of 
spirit, with which they have expressed their opinions to your 
Majesty, they have given an indisputable proof of having had in 
view, not their own personal advantage and the favour of their 
Sovereign, but his true interests and welfare alone ; and if 
just such men as these among them even your loving brother, 
a thoroughly noble and chivalrous Prince, standing next to 
the throne find themselves forced, in a grave crisis, to turn 
away from you, this is a momentous sign, which might well give 
cause to your Majesty to take counsel with yourself, and to 
examine with anxious care, whether perhaps the hidden cause 
of past and future evils may not lie in your Majesty's own 
views ? 2 You complain, most honoured Sire and Brother, 
that your policy is blamed as vacillating, and that your own 
person is insulted at home and abroad (a thing which has often 

1 The influence of Russia over the King had been proved by the recall of Baron Bunsen, 
and the dismissal of all those Ministers who had opposed the policy of the Czar in Turkey. 

2 The Prince of Prussia had shown his dissatisfaction with the King's policy by quitting 


filled me with deep grief and indignation), and you asseverate 
that your policy rests upon a firm basis, which the conscience 
of "a King and a Christian has laid down for it." But 
should it be possible to discover in your Majesty's funda- 
mental views something self-contradictory, then necessarily, 
the more consistently and conscientiously these fundamental 
views are revealed in their consequences, the more contradictory 
must your actions appear to those who are not intimately aware 
of your intentions, and cannot but force upon the world 
the impression that your views themselves were wavering. 

You will not take it amiss in a true friend and sister, if she 
endeavours to place before you her impressions on this matter, 
as frankly as they appear to her. 

Your Majesty has acknowledged in the face of the world 
that Russia has addressed to the Porte demands which she had 
no right to make. You have further acknowledged that the 
forcible taking possession of two Turkish provinces with the 
intention of enforcing the demand was a political wrong. 
You have, together with Austria, France, and England, several 
times declared in Protocols the preservation of the integrity 
of the Turkish empire to be a European interest. Notwith- 
standing all this, Russia continues to occupy the Danube 
principalities, penetrates further into Turkey, and, by forcing 
on a sanguinary and exhausting war, leads the unhappy and 
suffering empire on to the brink of the grave. What should 
Europe then do under these circumstances ? 

It could not possibly be the intention of the Powers to declare 
the preservation and integrity of the Porte to be a matter of 
European concern, solely in order to allow that empire to be 
destroyed before their very eyes ! As to Prussia, I can con- 
ceive a line of policy, not that indeed which I should think in 
harmony with the generosity and chivalry of your rule, but 
still one possible in itself, by which she would say to herself : 
" The preservation of this integrity I have indeed declared to 
be a matter of European concern, but I wish to leave England 
and France to defend that policy with their wealth and blood, 
and reserve to myself only a moral co-operation." But what 
am I to think if, after England and France with courageous 
readiness have taken upon themselves alone this immense 
responsibility, sacrifice, and danger, your Majesty is now 
mainly considering the erection of a barrier of 72,000,000 of 
men between them and that Power, against whose encroach- 
ment the European interest is to be defended ? What am I 
to say to the threat uttered against the West as well as against 
the East ? and to your even asking from the West gratitude 
for " the enormous advantage " that you do not, into the 


bargain, yourself join in attacking it ! ! For your Majesty 
says expressly in your letter : " The Emperor ought to thank 
God that my view of Russian policy, my fidelity to your Majesty, 
have prevented me from making him begin the Turkish war 
on the other side of his own frontier. The enormous advan- 
tage of this abstention is totally forgotten in France, and, 
unfortunately, in England too ! " 

Dearest Sir and Brother, this language shows a contradiction 
in your own mind, which fills me with the greatest anxiety for 
possible consequences, an anxiety not diminished by your 
kindly adding : " Duty, Conscience, and Tradition forbid you 
to draw the sword against Old England." 

I shall gladly with you bless the day on which the word of 
Peace can be uttered. Your Majesty can, by vigorous co- 
operation, help to usher in that day, just as you might have 
in my conviction contributed, by vigorous co-operation to 
prevent the War altogether. 

Whatever these troublous times may bring us, I harbour the 
firm confidence that the warmth of our friendly relations can- 
not be troubled by anything, and rejoice in the circumstance 
that the personal relations of the two Sovereigns are, in this 
matter, so entirely in harmony with the interests of the two 

Albert sends you his homage, and I remain, with most 
cordial remembrance to the dear Queen, and with thanks for 
the kind wishes expressed by both of you, ever your Majesty's 
faithful Sister and Friend, VICTORIA R. 

Minute of Interview by the Prince Albert. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 8th June 1854. 

Lord Aberdeen had an Audience to-day before the Council, 
and represented that what was intended was merely a division 
of the office of Secretary of State, and not the creation of any 
new power, and must be considered rather as a means of 
avoiding further changes. 1 Lord Grey, in hearing of this 
intention, called it in a letter " the worst arrangement of all," 
as unfavourable to his further views ; the Duke of Newcastle 
would fill the office, and would have to prepare the changes, 
inherent in the arrangement, and was determined not to break 
down the present arrangements ; Lord John Russell was 
agreed herewith, and Sir George Grey would take office know- 
ing this to be Lord Aberdeen's firm decision. But there was 

i Lord John Russell had some time before proposed the separation of the War and 
Colonial Departments, with a view of filling the Colonial Office himself, " which, in every 
point of view," wrote Lord Aberdeen to the Queen, " would have been a most satisfactory 

VOL. in 2 


in fact no choice. Mr Rich would this afternoon bring forward 
a Motion in the House of Commons for the consolidation of all 
military offices under one Department and a Civil Head, and 
Lord John Russell, to whom Lord Aberdeen had said that the 
Queen still hesitated about admitting the separation of the 
duties of Secretary of State, declared to him angrily, if that 
was so, he would go down to the House and vote for Mr Rich's 
Motion ! ! The Motion would be carried without fail in the 

So this important measure had been carried by storm (as 
the Queen could only give way under these circumstances), 
and carried without a definite plan, leaving everything to the 
future ! ! 

Lord John is to be Lord President, and he insisted upon Sir 
George Grey taking the Colonies. Lord Aberdeen fears much 
dissatisfaction from Lord Canning, Mr Cardwell, and Mr 
Peel, and just dissatisfaction ; the Cabinet are very angry at 
the whole proceeding. Lord Granville behaved exceedingly 
well, putting himself and his office entirely at Lord Aberdeen's 
disposal. 1 

It is supposed that in the House expressions will be dropped 
in favour of Lord Palmerston's taking the conduct of the War 
in his hands. The Duke of Newcastle, whom we saw, also 
states the extreme difficulty of defining the duties of the 
Secretary of State, but promises to do so, as far as possible, 
for the Queen's convenience. ALBERT. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Aberdeen. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 26th June 1854. 

The Queen has not yet acknowledged Lord Aberdeen's 
letter of the 24th. She is very glad to hear that he will take 
an opportunity to-day of dispelling misapprehensions which 
have arisen in the public mind in consequence of his last speech 
in the House of Lords, and the effect of which has given the 
Queen very great uneasiness. 2 She knows Lord Aberdeen 
so well that she can fully enter into his feelings and understand 

1 Lord Fitzmaurice, in his Life of Lord Granville, points out that Mr Strutt was really 
the person who had a right to complain. He was abruptly removed from the Chancellor- 
ship of the Duchy, and replaced by Lord Granville to suit Lord John's convenience. 

2 The speech of Lord Aberdeen, to which the Queen here refers, had created a very 
unsatisfactory impression. On the 19th of June the venerable Lord Lyndhurst had 
denounced the aggressive policy and the perfidy of Russia ; in the debate which followed, 
Lord Aberdeen spoke coldly, in a strain of semi-apology for Russia, and with an unlucky 
reference to the Treaty of Adrianople. Popular feeling against Russia being then at a 
white heat, the speech was considered indicative of apathy on behalf of the Government 
in the prosecution of the war. Accordingly, by moving on a later day for a copy of his 
own despatch of 1829, relative to the Treaty, the Premier obtained an opportunity of 
dispelling some of the apprehensions which his speech had excited. 


what he means, but the public, particularly under strong ex- 
citement of patriotic feeling, is impatient and annoyed to hear 
at this moment the first Minister of the Crown enter into an 
impartial examination of the Emperor of Russia's character 
and conduct. The qualities in Lord Aberdeen's character 
which the Queen values most highly, his candour and his 
courage in expressing opinions even if opposed to general 
feelings of the moment, are in this instance dangerous to him, 
and the Queen hopes that in the vindication of his own conduct 
to-day, which ought to be triumphant, as it wants in fact no 
vindication, he will not undertake the ungrateful and injurious 
task of vindicating the Emperor of Russia from any of the 
exaggerated charges brought against him and his policy at a 
time when there is enough in it to make us fight with all might 
against it. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Clarendon. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 27th June 1854. 

The Queen observes in Lord Cowley's letter a suggestion of 
M. Drouyn de Lhuys to stop, if possible, the Russian Loan. 
She thinks this of the highest importance as cutting the sinews 
of war of the enemy. The Queen does not know whether we 
have by law the power to forbid the quotation of this stock in 
our market, but a short Act of Parliament might be obtained 
for the purpose. The London and Paris markets rejecting 
such paper would have the greatest influence upon its issue. 1 

The Earl of Aberdeen to Queen Victoria. 

LONDON, 29th June 1854. 

Lord Aberdeen presents his humble duty to your Majesty. 
The Cabinet assembled yesterday evening at Lord John 
Russell's, at Richmond, and continued to a very late hour. 2 

1 Lord Clarendon replied : " . . . With reference to your Majesty's note of this 
morning. Lord Clarendon begs to say that having laid a case fully before the Law Officers, 
and having ascertained from them that it would be high treason for any subject of your 
Majesty's to be concerned in the Russian Loan, he will give all possible circulation to the 
opinion, and he has this evening sent it to Vienna, Berlin, and The Hague. . . ." 

2 The war now entered upon a new phase. Though the land forces of the Allies had 
hitherto not come into conflict with the enemy, the Turks under Omar Pasha had been 
unexpectedly successful in their resistance to the Russians, whom a little later they 
decisively defeated at Giurgevo. Silistria had been determinedly besieged by the Russians, 
and its fall was daily expected. Yet, under the leadership of three young Englishmen, 
Captain Butler and Lieutenants Nasmyth and Ballard, the Russians were beaten off and 
the siege raised. The schemes of the Czar against Turkey in Europe had miscarried. 

Mr Kinglake describes, in an interesting passage, the growth in the public mind of a 
determination that the Crimea should be invaded, and Sebastopol destroyed. The 
Emperor Napoleon had suggested the plan at an earlier stage, and the Times newspaper 
fanned popular enthusiasm in favour of it. The improved outlook in the East warranted 
the attempt being made, but the plan was not regarded with unqualified approval by the 
commanders of theallied forces in the East. In the speech, already referred to, of Lord 


A Draft of Instructions to Lord Raglan had been prepared by 
the Duke of Newcastle, in which the necessity of a prompt 
attack upon Sebastopol and the Russian Fleet was strongly 
urged. The amount of force now assembled at Varna, 
and in the neighbourhood, appeared to be amply sufficient 
to justify such an enterprise, with the assistance of the English 
and French Fleets. But although the expedition to the Crimea 
was pressed very warmly, and recommended to be under- 
taken with the least possible delay, the final decision was left 
to the judgment and discretion of Lord Raglan and Marshal 
St Arnaud, after they should have communicated with Omar 

It was also decided to send the reserve force, now in England, 
of 5,000 men, to join Lord Raglan without delay. This will 
exhaust the whole disposable force of the country at this time, 
and renders it impossible to supply British troops for any under- 
taking in the Baltic. A communication was therefore made 
yesterday to the French Government to know whether they 
would be disposed to send 6, 000 French troops, to be conveyed 
in English transports, to the Baltic, in order to join in an 
attack upon the Aland Islands, 1 which appeared to be attended 
with no great difficulty ; although any attempt upon Helsing- 
fors, or Cronstadt, was pronounced by Sir Charles Napier 
to be hopeless. 

The Earl of Aberdeen to Queen Victoria. 

LONDON, 50th June 1854. 

Lord Aberdeen presents his humble duty to your Majesty- 
He begs to call your Majesty's attention to the circumstance 
that, in 1842, your Majesty was graciously pleased to authorise 
Sir Robert Peel to declare that your Majesty had determined 
that the Income Tax should be charged upon the sum payable- 
to your Majesty under the Civil List Act, and that this de- 
claration was received with marked satisfaction. Lord Aber- 
deen humbly presumes that your Majesty will be disposed 
to follow the same course with reference to the augmentation 

Lyndhurst, the project had been urged upon the Government, and Lord Raglan considered 
that the despatch now sanctioned by the Cabinet, which is printed in the Invasion of the 
Crimea, left him no discretion in the matter. 

The scheme had previously been considered in all its aspects by the Cabinet, and Mr 
Kinglake gives an exaggerated importance to the fact that some of the members of the 
Cabinet gave way to sleep while the long draft of instructions was being read to them, 
at the after-dinner Council at Pembroke Lodge. 

1 Bomarsund, a fortress on one of these islands, was taken by Sir Charles Napier, aided 
by a French contingent under General Baraguay d'Hilliers, on the 16th of August ; but 
the high expectations raised as to the success of the operations in the Baltic were not 


of the Tax ; and should this be the case, Lord Aberdeen begs 
to intimate that the time for making it known has now fully 
arrived. . 

Queen Victoria to the Duke of Newcastle. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 5rd July 185-1. 

In consequence of the departure of these additional 5,000 
men for the East, the Queen feels very uneasy at the very 
defenceless state in which the country will be left, not from 
any want of confidence arising from the present conjuncture 
of affairs, but from a strong sense of the impolicy and danger of 
leaving this great country in such a helpless state under any 
circumstances, for we never can foresee what events may not 
suddenly spring up at any moment (like Greece, for instance x ) 
which may require a force to be in readiness for any particular 

The Queen therefore wishes the Duke of Newcastle to give 
her detailed answers upon the various points stated in the ac- 
companying paper ; but the Queen wishes to have the " effec- 
tive state " and not " the state upon paper only." The Duke 
will be able to obtain these reports from the different depart- 

What store of muskets are there here ? 

When will the new ones be ready ? 

What is the force of Artillery left in the country in men 
and horses ? 

What amount of troops are there in the country of Infantry 
(deducting the 5,000 men under orders for the East), and of 
Cavalry, and where are they stationed ? 

How much Militia has been and will be embodied ? 

What is the Naval Force at home ? 

How much serviceable ammunition is there both of Artillery 
and small arms in the country ? 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Clarendon. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 4th July 1854. 

The Queen approves the enclosed drafts, and wishes only to 
remark on one passage, where Lord Clarendon says, " that he 
acts by the unanimous desire of the Cabinet," which she thinks 
better altered or omitted. If left, it might weaken the authority 
of future instructions emanating from the Secretary of State 

1 A violently hostile feeling between the Turks and Greeks had culminated earlier in 
the year in a formidable insurrection among the Sultan's Greek subjects. It was termi- 
nated on the 18th of June by an engagement at Kalampaka, in Thessaly. 


alone ; moreover, he acts constitutional!}/ under the authority 
of the Queen, on his own responsibility and not that of the 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Aberdeen. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, nth July 1854. 

The Queen has just received Lord Aberdeen's letter, and has 
fully considered the contents of it. She has finally decided to 
make no change in her intended departure, from a conviction 
that her doing so might shake confidence in the result of this 
night's Debate. Should anything serious occur, she would be 
ready to return to-morrow or at any time that her presence in 
town was considered of importance to the public service. 

Queen Victoria to Lord John Russell. 

OSBORNE, 19th July 1854. 

The Queen has received Lord John Russell's letter of yester- 
day, and was very glad to hear that both the meeting and 
the Debate went off so well. The party which supports the 
Government is certainly " a strange basis for a Government to 
rest upon," but such as it is we must make the best of it, and 
nothing will contribute more to keeping it together than to give 
it the impression that the Government is thoroughly united. 1 

Queen Victoria to the Marquis of Dalhousie. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 26th July 1854. 

It is a very long time since the Queen has had the pleasure 
of hearing from Lord Dalhousie, but she supposes that (fortu- 
nately) there is very little to say, everything being so quiet and 
prosperous. The Queen highly appreciates and values Lord 
Dalhousie's kind offer to remain in India while there is any 
prospect of difficulty being caused by the present War, which 
will be a source of great satisfaction and tranquillity to her, 
as she feels that her Indian Dominions cannot be in safer 

The Queen wishes to tell Lord Dalhousie how much inter- 

1 During a desultory discussion on the 13th of July, Mr Disraeli had assailed the Gov- 
ernment and its chief in the Commons, to such purpose that Lord John Russell, stung by 
his sarcasms, and mortified by his own failure, asked Lord Aberdeen to relieve him of the 
Leadership of the House. The Queen, to whom he had also written, entreated Lord 
John not to let his opponent see that his object in making his attack had been successful. 
A meeting of the Ministerialists was held on the 17th at the Foreign Office, at which one 
hundred and eighty members of the House of Commons were present, and some diversity 
of opinion was expressed ; the result of the meeting was that the Government was more 
satisfactorily supported. 


ested and pleased we have been in making the acquaintance of 
the young Maharajah Dhuleep Singh. 1 It is not without 
mixed feelings of pain and sympathy that the Queen sees this 
young Prince, once destined to so high and powerful a position, 
and now reduced to so dependent a one by her arms ; his 
youth, amiable character, and striking good looks, as well as his 
being a Christian, the first of his high rank who has embraced 
our faith, must incline every one favourably towards him, and 
it will be a pleasure to us to do all we can to be of use to him, 
and to befriend and protect him. 

It also interested us to see poor old Prince Gholam Moham- 
med, the last son of the once so dreaded Tippoo Sahib. 

We both hope that Lord Dalhousie's health is good, and the 
Prince sends him his kind remembrance. 

Queen Victoria to Viscount Hardinge. 

OSBORNE, 6th August 1854. 

The Queen has received Lord Hardinge' s letter of the 4th. 2 
She would for the future wish all papers for signature to 
be accompanied by a descriptive list showing at a glance the 
purport of the documents, as is done with papers from other 
Government offices. 

The Queen has looked over the lists of Major-Generals made 
by the last brevet which Lord Hardinge submitted, and must 
confess that it does not afford a great choice ; yet, leaving out 
the cavalry officers and those disqualified by age or infirmities, 
there remain some few whom she has marked with an " X," for 
whose exclusion no adequate reason is apparent. An exclusion 
of officers who have served in the Guards, merely on that account, 
the Queen would not wish to see adopted as a principle, and 
the selection of Colonels of the Line (because there are no 
Generals fit), in preference to Generals of the Guards who are 
perfectly so, will amount to this. General Eden, 3 moreover, 
has been in command of a Regiment of the Line, and General 
Knollys * has not been promoted from the Guards, and, in 

1 This young Prince was born in 1838, and was a younger son of B.unjeet Singh, Chief 
of the Sikhs, who, after a loyal alliance with England for thirty years, died in 1839. In 
1843 Dhuleep Singh was raised to the throne, which had been occupied successively by 
Runjeet's elder sons. After the Sikh war in 1845, the British Government gave to the 
boy-king the support of a British force. In 1849, after the destruction of the Sikh army 
at Gujerat, and the annexation of the Punjab, a pension was bestowed on the young 
Maharajah on condition of his remaining loyal to the British Government. He became 
a Christian and was at this time on a visit to England. 

2 In reply to a letter from the Queen, stating that she had inadvertently signed certain 
papers in the ordinary course. Her attention had not been drawn to their important 

3 Lieut. -General John Eden, C.B., nephew of the first Lord Auckland. 

4 Sir William Knollys, K.C.B., 1797-1883, became in 1855 the organiser of the newly 
formed Camp at Aldershot. 


accepting the Governorship of Guernsey, specially begged that 
this might not exclude him from active service a circumstance 
which he mentioned to the Prince at the time. Both these have 
the reputation of very good officers. 

The Queen does not wish anything to be arranged pro- 
spectively now, but would recommend the subject to Lord 
Hardinge's future consideration. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Aberdeen. 

OSBORNE, 21st August 1854. 

The Queen must repeat what she has frequently done, that 
she strongly objects to these special prayers which are, in fact, 
not a sign of gratitude or confidence in the Almighty for if this 
is the course to be pursued, we ought to have one for every ill- 
ness, and certainly in '37 the influenza was notoriously more 
fatal than the cholera had ever been, and yet no one would have 
thought of having a prayer against that. Our Liturgy has 
provided for these calamities, and we may have frequent 
returns of the cholera and yet it would be difficult to define 
the number of deaths which are to make " a form of prayer " 
necessary. The Queen would, therefore, strongly recommend 
the usual prayer being used, and no other, as is the case for the 
prayer in time of War. What is the use of the prayers in the 
Liturgy, which were no doubt composed when we were subject 
to other equally fatal diseases, if a new one is always to be 
framed specially for the cholera ? 

The Queen would wish Lord Aberdeen to give this as her 
decided opinion to the Archbishop, at all events, for the 
present. Last year the cholera quite decimated Newcastle, 
and was bad in many other places, but there was no special 
prayer, and now the illness is in London but not in any other 
place, a prayer is proposed by the Archbishop. The Queen 
cannot see the difference between the one and the other. 

The Earl of Aberdeen to Queen Victoria. 

LONDON, 1st September 1854. 

Lord Aberdeen, with his humble duty, begs to lay before 
your Majesty the pensions proposed to be granted on the Civil 
List at this time. The only case requiring any special remark 
is that of the children of Lord Nelson's adopted daughter. 
There seems little doubt that the person referred to was really 
Lord Nelson's daughter, according to evidence recently pro- 


duced, and was recommended by him to the care of the country, 
just before the battle of Trafalgar. 1 

A numerous party in the House of Commons wished that 
your Majesty's Government should propose a special vote for 
this person and her family ; but the Cabinet thought that it 
would give rise to much scandal and disagreeable debate, and 
finally recommended Lord Aberdeen to place the three daugh- 
ters on the Pension List. The circumstances of the case are, 
no doubt, very peculiar ; and although Lord Aberdeen does 
not feel perfectly satisfied with the course pursued, he thinks 
it very desirable to avoid the sort of Parliamentary debates 
to which the discussion of such a subject would necessarily give 

The Emperor of the French to Queen Victoria. 2 

BOULOGNE, le 8 Septembre 1854. 

MADAME ET BONNE SCEUR, La presence du digne epoux de 
votre Majeste au milieu d'un camp franais est un fait d'une 
grande signification politique, puisqu'il prouve Funion intime 
des deux pays : mais j'aime mieux aujourd'hui ne pas envisager 
le cote politique de cette visite et vous dire sincerement combien 
j'ai ete heureux de me trouver pendant quelques jours avec un 
Prince aussi accompli, un homme doue de qualites si seduisantes 
et de connaissances si profondes. II peiA etre convaincu d' em- 
porter avec lui mes sentiments de haute estime et d' ami tie. 
Mais plus ilm'a ete donne d'apprecier le Prince Albert, plus je 
dois etre touche de la bienveillance qu'a eue votre Majeste de 
s'en separer pour moi quelque jours. 

Je remercie votre Majeste de 1' admirable lettre qu'elle a bien 
voulu m'ecrire et des choses affectueuses qu'elle contenait pour 
I'lmperatrice. Je me suis empresse de lui en faire part et elle 
y a ete tres sensible. 

Je prie votre Majeste de recevoir 1' expression de mes senti- 
ments respectueux et de me croire, de votre Majeste, le bon 

1 Horatia, daughter of Nelson and Lady Hamilton, was born on the 29th of January 
1801, and married in 1822 the Rev. Philip Ward of Tenterden. She died in 1881. 

2 The French Emperor had established a camp between Boulogne and St Omer, and 
early in the summer had invited Prince Albert to visit him. It was reasonably con- 
jectured at the time that one of the chief purposes of the invitation was by personal inter- 
course to overcome the prejudice which the Emperor believed prevailed against him. The 
visit lasted from the 4th till the 8th of September, and the Prince's impressiong were 
recorded in a memorandum, " the value of which," writes Sir Theodore Martin, by way of 
preface to his publication of it, " cannot be overstated ; nor is it less valuable for the light 
which it throws upon the Prince's character, by the remarkable contrasts between himself 
and the Emperor of the French, which were elicited in the unreserved discussions which 
each seems equally to have courted." 

VOL. Ill 2* 


The Earl of Clarendon to Queen Victoria. 

FOREIGN OFFICE, 22nd September 1854. 

Lord Clarendon presents his humble duty to your Majesty. . . . 

Count Walewski told Lord Clarendon to-day that the Em- 
peror had spoken with enthusiasm of the Prince, saying that 
in all his experience he had never met with a person possessing 
such various and profound knowledge, or who communicated 
it with the same frankness. His Majesty added that he had 
never learned so much in a short time, and was grateful. He 
began his conversation with reproaching Count Walewski for 
not having written to him much oftener respecting the Prince, 
and endeavoured to ascertain the opinions of His Royal High- 
ness upon all important subjects. 

With respect to the invitation, the Emperor's account of it 
to Count Walewski was that he had apologised to the Prince 
for the bad reception he had given His Royal Highness, and 
expressed a hope that he might have an opportunity of doing 
better at Paris, if your Majesty and the Prince would honour him 
with a visit ; and that His Royal Highness had then said, " the 
Queen hopes to see your Majesty at Windsor, and will be happy 
to make acquaintance with the Empress." The Emperor, 
however, had only taken this as a courteous return to his invita- 
tion, and not as intended for a positive invitation. 

Lord Clarendon told Count Walewski that he believed the 
matter had passed inversely, and that the Prince had first 
communicated your Majesty's message. 

Be that as it may, Count Walewski said the Emperor will be 
delighted to avail himself of the Queen's gracious kindness ; 
nothing will give him so much pleasure. . . . 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Clarendon. 

BALMORAL, 24th September 1854. 

The Queen returns the two letters from Lord Cowley. She 
is very sorry to see doubts arise as to the correctness of the 
intelligence about the safe debarkation of our whole expedition- 
ary force in the Crimea, but still clings to the hope of its being 

Count Walewski' s account of the Emperor's version of his 
conversation with the Prince explains what the Prince sus- 
pected at one time himself, that the Emperor had not under- 
stood the Prince's remark as conveying a direct invitation, but 
merely as a general term of civility. What the Prince intended 
to convey was something between the two, making it clear that 
he would be well received, and leaving it entirely open to him 


to come or not according to his own political views and circum- 
stances. This appeared to the Prince the most polite and 
delicate, preventing all appearance as if a counter-visit for 
his own at Boulogne was expected. Lest the Emperor should 
not have rightly understood the Prince, he repeated the 
wish to see the Emperor in England, and the hope of the 
Queen to make the Empress's acquaintance also, more 
directly to Marshal Vaillant, who gave the same answer as 
the Emperor had done he hoped we should come to Paris 
in return. 

Matters stand as well as possible with regard to the visit ; 
in the Queen's opinion, the Emperor can come if he likes, and if 
prevented, is bound to nothing. Should he ask when his visit 
would be most agreeable to the Queen, the middle of November 
would be the time. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Clarendon. 

BALMORAL, 30tf September 1854. 

The Queen returns the enclosed letters. The French show 
their usual vivacity in pressing so hard for decision upon what 
is to be done with Sebastopol when taken. 1 Surely we ought 
to have taken it first before we can dispose of it, and everything 
as to the decision about it must depend upon the state in which 
we receive it, and the opinion of the Military and Naval Com- 
manders after they find themselves in possession of it. The 
Queen hopes, therefore, that Lord Clarendon will succeed in 
restraining French impatience as he has often done before. 

The Earl of Aberdeen to Queen Victoria. 

HADDO HOUSE, 1st October 1854. 

Lord Aberdeen presents his humble duty to your Majesty. 
He had the honour of receiving your Majesty's box this morning 
at nine o'clock by post ; and he now sends a Messenger to 
Aberdeen, with Despatches received this morning from 
London, to meet the special conveyance to Balmoral this 

1 Lord Clarendon had given the Queen the two reasons for which the French were 
pressing, in anticipation, the retention of the Crimea, viz. as affording suitable winter 
quarters, and as a guarantee in case of peace negotiations. On the 7th of September 
the allied forces had sailed for the Crimea ; on the 21st the Queen learned by telegram 
that 25,000 English, 25,000 French, and 8,000 Turks had landed safely without encounter- 
ing resistance, and begun the march to Sebastopol. The Queen, with her usual kindly 
solicitude for the health and comfort of her Ministers, had summoned Lord Aberdeen from 
London to have the benefit of the Scotch air ; he remained at Balmoral from the 27th till 
the 30tb, when he went to his own house at Haddo. Immediately after his departure, a 
telegram arrived from Lord Clarendon announcing the victory of the Alma. 


Lord Aberdeen humbly presumes to offer his most cordial 
congratulations to your Majesty on the great intelligence re- 
ceived by telegraph this morning. The account sent by Lord 
Stratford of the victory on the Alma must be correct ; the 
report mentioned by Mr Colquhoun x may possibly be so too. 
At all events, we may fairly hope that the fall of Sebastopol 
cannot long be delayed. 

Lord Aberdeen has written to Lord Clarendon this morning 
on the'subject of the fortifications of Sebastopol, which although 
somewhat embarrassing at the moment, is not attended with 
any great practical importance. 

Lord Aberdeen regrets that the speedy return of the post 
prevents him from sending your Majesty a copy of his letter, 
which in substance, however, was to the following effect. 
Without attaching any undue importance to the decision, ha 
was inclined to adhere to his first proposition of the immediate 
and entire destruction of the works. He did not see the 
advantage of doing the thing by halves ; while the destruction 
of the sea defences only might give rise to erroneous impressions 
and would be of an equivocal character. The fall of Sebastopol 
would in fact be the conquest of the Crimea, and the Allies 
might winter there with perfect security, as, by occupying the 
lines of Perekop, 2 any access to the Crimea would effectually 
be prevented by land. Lord Aberdeen thought that with a 
view to peace, and the restitution of the Crimea to Russia, it 
would be more easy for the Emperor to accept the destruction 
of the fortifications when accomplished, than to agree to any 
stipulation having such an object. 

On the whole, Lord Aberdeen was inclined to think that if 
the place should not be at once destroyed, it might be better 
to preserve it in its present state, until the matter should be 
further considered. The Allies would always have it in their 
power to act as they thought best, and the question might in 
some degree be affected by future events. The great objec- 
tion to leaving the matter undecided for the present appeared 
to be from the possibility of differences hereafter between 
France and England upon the subject. After the astounding 
proposition made to Lord Raglan by the French Generals, 
when actually embarked and at sea, it would be well to 
leave nothing in doubt. The Turks, too, might perhaps 
desire to have a voice in the matter, and might become 
troublesome. . . . 

1 Mr (afterwards Sir) Robert Gilmour Colquhoun (1803-1870), Agent and Consul- 
General at Bucharest. 

2 A district on the isthmus of Crimea, guarded by a wall and a ditch, the name meaning 
" Cross-ditch." The whole isthmus is now often called Perekop. 


The Marquis of DalJiousie to Queen Victoria. 

GOVERNMENT HOUSE, 2nd October 1854. 

The Governor-General presents his most humble duty to 
your Majesty, and begs to offer his respectful thanks for the 
very gracious manner in which your Majesty has been pleased 
to acknowledge the offer he has made to retain still the Govern- 
ment of India during the ensuing year. 

The Governor-General does not affect to say that he makes 
no sacrifice in so doing. Many things unite to warn him that 
it is time he were gone : and his family circumstances, in 
which your Majesty has long shown so gracious an interest, have 
rendered the prospect of his remaining longer absent from 
England a source of much anxiety and perplexity to him. 
But he felt that this was no time for any man, high or low, 
to leave his post. And as a seven-years' experience must needs 
have rendered him more capable of immediate usefulness than 
any other, though a far abler man, without such experience 
could possibly be, he did not hesitate to offer the continued 
service which your Majesty might most justly expect, and 
which he is proud to render cheerfully. 

Your Majesty's remark on the absence of any letter from 
the Governor-General of late would have disquieted him with 
apprehensions that he had been thought neglectful, but that 
your Majesty at the same time ascribed the silence to its real 
cause. Since the announcement of the termination of the 
Burmese War there has, in truth, been no occurrence which, 
of itself, seemed worthy of being made the subject of a report 
to your Majesty. India has been tranquil in all her borders. 
And although no event could well be more gratifying than this 
continuous tranquillity was in itself, still the periodical report 
of peace and quiet on all sides seemed likely to be as unin- 
teresting as the monotonous, though satisfactory, " All's 
well " of a ring of sentries. 

At Christmas the Governor-General anticipated having the 
honour of narrating to your Majesty the events of a year which 
he hoped would, before its close, have been fruitful of great 
results. . . . 

Very recently an interesting mission has arrived from the 
Khan of Kokan, a state to the north of Bokhara, reporting the 
capture of their fort of Ak Mussid by the Russians. 

The fact was known before ; but the mission is important 
from the certainty it imparts to us that all the Turcomans, 
the people of Kokan, of Khiva, and of Bokhara, all detest as 
much as they dread the Muscovites, with whose approach they 
are threatened. 


The Khan asks for aid. We can render him but little. 
The only real bulwark which can be raised for these states 
of Central Asia the only real barrier to the progress of Russia 
which can be set up there must have their foundations in the 
Treaty, which may be framed by the Allied Powers after the 
present war shall have brought the spirit of Russia into 
temporary subjection. 

The war in which your Majesty has engaged with that great 
Power has not been directly felt in this part of your Majesty's 
dominions ; but its indirect influence is most sensibly ap- 

The notions entertained of Russia, and the estimate formed 
of her powers, by the nations of India, are exaggerated in 
the extreme. Although our pride must wince on hearing 
it, it is an unquestionable fact that the general belief in 
India at this moment is that Russia gravely menaces the 
power of England, and will be more than a match for her 
in the end. 

This feeling cannot prudently be disregarded. The Governor- 
General need hardly say to your Majesty that he believes that 
any direct attack by Russia on these dominions at the present 
time is utterly impracticable ; and that there is no more risk 
of an invasion of India by the Emperor Nicholas than of 
another by Mahmood of Ghuznee. Nevertheless, the uneasy 
feeling which now prevails among native States and among 
ourselves, partly of alarm, partly of indefinite expectation, 
ought to be guarded against ; and the means of meeting 
any difficulties which may arise out of it should be at our 

Earnestly desirous to contribute every possible aid to your 
Majesty's arms in the great contest now going on in Europe, 
the Governor-General has respectfully placed at the disposal 
of your Majesty's Ministers all the four regiments of Royal 
Cavalry now serving in India. The Infantry is already hardly 
adequate for our own necessities : and while the Governor- 
General will be quite ready to accept and to face any additional 
responsibilities which he may be called upon to bear, he has 
felt it to be his duty to state that, beyond the four regiments 
of Cavalry, European troops cannot safely be spared from 
India at the present time. 

The Governor-General, however, feels that he is not in- 
dulging in any vain boast when he ventures to assure your 
Majesty that, under God's good blessing, these, your Dominions 
in the East, are at present absolutely safe. . . . Your Majesty's 
most obedient, most humble, and devoted Subject and Servant, 



Queen Victoria to the Marquis of Dalhousie. 

BALMORAL, 2nd October 1854. 

As the Queen knows that the East India Company are 
chiefly guided by Lord Dalhousie's advice with respect to all 
Indian affairs in public as well as of a more private nature, 
she thinks that she cannot do better than write to him upon a 
subject which she feels strongly upon, and which she is sure 
that Lord Dalhousie will enter into. It is the position of those 
unfortunate Indian Princes who have, either themselves or 
their fathers, been for public reasons deposed. Two instances 
are now before the Queen's eyes upon which she wishes to 
state her opinion. 

The first is old Prince Gholam Mohammed, and his son 
Prince Feroz Shah. The Queen understands (though she is 
not sure of the fact) that the old man is here in order to try to 
obtain his pension continued to his son. This is very natural, 
and it strikes the Queen to be an arrangement difficult to be 
justified, in a moral point of view, to give these poor people 
who after all were once so mighty no security beyond their 
lives. Whilst we remain permanently in possession of their 
vast Empire, they receive a pension, which is not even con- 
tinued to their descendants. Would it not be much the best 
to allow them, instead of a pension, to hold, perhaps under 
the Government, a property, which would enable them and 
their descendants to live respectably, maintaining a certain 
rank and position ? The Queen believes that Lord Dalhousie 
himself suggested this principle in the case of the Ameers of 

Nothing is more painful for any one than the thought that 
their children and grandchildren have no future, and may be- 
come absolutely beggars. How much more dreadful must this 
be to proud people, who, like Prince Gholam, are the sons and 
grandsons of great Princes like Hyder Ali and Tippoo Sahib ! 
Besides it strikes the Queen that the more kindly we treat 
Indian Princes, whom we have conquered, and the more con- 
sideration we show for their birth and former grandeur, the 
more we shall attach Indian Princes and Governments to us, 
and the more ready will they be to come under our rule. 

The second instance is that of the young Maharajah Dhuleep 
Singh (and the Queen must here observe that the favourable 
opinion she expressed of him, in her last letter to Lord Dal- 
housie, has only been confirmed and strengthened by closer 
acquaintance). This young Prince has the strongest claims 
upon our generosity and sympathy ; deposed, for no fault of 
his, when a little boy of ten years old, he is as innocent as any 


private individual of the misdeeds which compelled us to depose 
him, and take possession of his territories. He has besides 
since become a Christian, whereby he is for ever cut off from 
his own people. His case therefore appears to the Queen still 
stronger than the former one, as he was not even a conquered 
enemy, but merely powerless in the hands of the Sikh soldiery. 

There is something too painful in the idea of a young deposed 
Sovereign, once so powerful, receiving a pension, and having 
no security that his children and descendants, and these more- 
over Christians, should have any home or position. 

The Queen hears that Lord Dalhousie himself would wish 
and advise his pension to be exchanged for a property on which 
the Maharajah might live, which he might improve (giving 
thereby a most valuable example) and transmit some day to 
his descendants, should he have any ; she hopes therefore that 
this may be so settled, and that he may, on attaining the age of 
eighteen, have a comfortable and fitting position worthy his 
high rank. 

Where such a property might be must be of course left to 
Lord Dalhousie to decide, but the Queen hopes that Lord 
Dalhousie will give it his serious attention. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Clarendon. 

BALMORAL, IQth October 1854. 

The Queen has received Lord Clarendon's letters of the 8th. 1 
She cannot consider it wise to reject the Austrian proposals 
altogether, although we may usefully amend them. The success 
in the Crimea ought to be followed up by strengthening the 
alliance of the European powers, else it may turn out a sterile 
victory, and the English blood will have flowed in vain ; for 
supposing even the whole Crimea to fall into our hands, it is not 
likely that the war will be concluded on that account. How 
are England and France to bring it to a termination single- 
handed ? Our Army in the Crimea is the only one we have. . . . 

It is true that the Austrian proposal promises little perform- 
ance on her part, yet the stipulation by Treaty that she will 
never let the Russians pass the Pruth again is a positive ad- 
vantage to us ; and the other, that a defensive and offensive 
alliance with us is to follow the breaking out of the war by 
Russia against Austria, although being entirely at our expense, 
yet realises the chief condition which will make Austria hesitate 
less to bring it to a war with Russia. She always (and not 

l In one of which, in reference to Austria's desire for an offensive and defensive treaty 
with Great Britain, Lord Clarendon had described the Austrian terms as irritating, and 
the discussion of them a mere waste of time. 


without reason) dreaded to have to fight Russia single-handed, 
and the allied armies in the Crimea could not assist her. 
What reason could Austria put forward and justify to .Prussia 
and Germany, for going to war at this moment ? To obtain 
the evacuation of the Principalities was a tangible one, indeed 
the same we put forward when we declared war ; but this is 
now obtained. 

We must certainly not allow our policy to be mixed up with 
the miserable German squabbles, but we must acknowledge 
that Austria, as a member of the Confederation, is not and 
cannot be independent of them. 

The Queen would accordingly advise a temperate considera- 
tion of the Austrian proposals and an amendment of them in 
those points which seem to require them, and which Lord 
Clarendon clearly points out in his letter, and the avoidance 
of anything which could weaken the accord Europeen. 1 

The Emperor Napoleon's answer to Lord Cowley with re- 
ference to this visit to England renders it probable to the 
Queen that he was not anxious to have the general invitation 
changed into a special one, obliging him to come or to refuse. 
The answer is almost a refusal now, and has not improved our 
position. The Queen would wish that no anxiety should be 
shown to obtain the visit, now that it is quite clear to the 
Emperor that he will be le bienvenu at any time. His recep- 
tion here ought to be a boon to him and not a boon to us. 

The Queen fully enters into the feelings of exultation and 
joy at the glorious victory of the Alma, but this is somewhat 
damped by the sad loss we have sustained, and the thought 
of the many bereaved families of all classes who are in mourning 
for those near and dear to them. 

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 

HULL, IZlh October 1854. 

MY DEAREST UNCLE, Already far away from my loved 
beautiful Highlands and Mountains, I find a few minutes to 
write and thank you for your kind letter of the 2nd, with 
such lively and glowing descriptions of such glorious and 
beautiful scenery, which I hope and trust to see some day. 
Still, with all its beauties, I would not exchange it for our 
northern beauties, which really they are for a lovelier country 
with a more beautiful combination of wood and mountain, 
and river, and cultivation with the greatest wildness, at the 
same time close at hand, cannot, I am sure, be seen ; Stock- 

l The Cabinet, at its meeting on the 20th, decided to meet the Austrian proposals in 
the most conciliatory manner possible. 

50 THE ALMA [CHAP, xxm 

mar is in the greatest admiration of it. We left it yesterday 
morning, slept at Holyrood last night, and came here this 
evening ; the good people of this large port, having since two 
years entreated us to come here. We shall reach Windsor 

We are, and indeed the whole country is, entirely engrossed 
with one idea, one anxious thought the Crimea. We have 
received all the most interesting and gratifying details of the 
splendid and decisive victory of the Alma ; alas ! it was a 
bloody one. Our loss was a heavy one many have fallen 
and many are wounded, but my noble Troops behaved with 
a courage and desperation which was beautiful to behold. 
The Russians expected their position would hold out three 
weeks ; their loss was immense the whole garrison of Sebas- 
topol was out. Since that, the Army has performed a wonder- 
ful march to Balaklava, and the bombardment of Sebastopol 
has begun. Lord Raglan's behaviour was worthy of the old 
Duke's such coolness in the midst of the hottest fire. We 
have had all the details from young Burghersh 1 (a remarkably 
nice young man), one of Lord Raglan's Aides-de-camp whom 
he sent home with the Despatches, who was in the midst of it 
all. I feel so proud of my dear noble Troops, who, they say, 
bear their privations, and the sad disease which still haunts 
them, with such courage and good humour. 

George did enormously well, and was not touched. Now 
with Albert's love, ever your devoted Niece, 


Queen Victoria to the Earl of Clarendon. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 5th November 1854. 

The Queen has received Lord Clarendon's letter referring to 
the new Draft of a Treaty with Austria proposed by the French 
Government, and has since attentively perused the Treaty it- 
self. 2 Vague and inconclusive as it is as to co-operation (which 
is the main object of our desire), it is a step in advance, and 
has the advantage of assuring Austria of our alliance should 

1 Francis, Lord Burghersh, afterwards twelfth Earl of Westmorland (1825-1891). 

2 Lord Clarendon wrote that he and Lord John Russell approved of the treaty, but 
that Lord Aberdeen thought that Austria would not accept it ; while Lord Palmerston 
felt confident that Austria, even if her co-operation were not now secured, would at least 
not lend her support to the King of Prussia's scheme. 

At this date only partial and misleading accounts had arrived of the battle of Bala- 
klava, and it was believed that four English (not Turkish) redoubts had been taken ; and, 
while the disastrous charge of the Light Brigade had been announced, the success of the 
heavy cavalry was not yet known. Anxiety began accordingly to be felt at home as to 
the adequacy of the allied forces to encounter the Russian army, augmented as it now was 
by the troops which had recently evacuated the Principalities. Accordingly fresh efforts 
were being made to engage Austria in effectual alliance with the Western Powers. 


the war between her and Russia break out. The Queen regrets 
to find a Clause omitted which stood in the former French 
project (rejected by us about three weeks ago), stipulating that 
Austria was to prevent the re-entry of Russia into the Princi- 
palities. Although she would of her own accord have to do 
this, a treaty obligation towards the belligerents to that effect 
would have made a considerable inroad into her position as 
a neutral power, and secured a co-operation in the war ad 
hoc at least. Austria ought to be told, in the Queen's opinion, 
that this project of treaty contains almost nothing ; and that 
her signing it at once would give a moral pledge of her sincerity 
towards the Western Powers, who have to pay with the lives 
of their best troops every day that Austria hesitates to do 
what in the end she must find it in her own interest to do. 

As to M. Olozaga's proposal, 1 the Queen thinks it ought to 
be treated like all the former ones, viz. met with the remark 
that we cannot discuss eventualities implying the dethronement 
of a Sovereign with whom we are on a footing of amity. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Clarendon. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 9th November 1854. 

The Queen returns the letters from Lord Cowley and Count 
Walewski. 2 No consideration on earth ought to stand in the 
way of our sending what ships we can lay hold of to transport 
French reinforcements to the Crimea, as the safety of our 
Army and the honour of the Country are at stake. The 
Queen is ready to give her own yacht for a transport which could 
carry 1,000 men. Every account received convinces the 
Queen more and more that numbers alone can ensure success 
in this instance, and that without them we are running serious 

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, lith November 1854. 

MY DEAREST UNCLE, I am quite shocked to find that I 
missed writing my letter to-day but really la tete me tourne. 
I am so bewildered and excited, and my mind so entirely taken 
up by the news from the Crimea, that I really forget, and what 

1 The document containing this proposal does not seem to have been preserved among 
the papers. It was not impossibly a scheme for betrothing King Pedro to the infant 
Princess of the Asturias, thereby uniting the two Crowns, and bringing about the 
dethronement of Queen Isabella. 

2 The Count wrote that France was ready to send 20,000 men to the Crimea, if England 
could furnish transports. Lord Clarendon added : " We have not a single available 
steamer, as all must be left in the Baltic until the ice sets in, and the stores, ammunition, 
and clothing for the Army are going out in sailing vessels." 


is worse, I get so confused about everything that I am a very 
unfit correspondent. My whole soul and heart are in the Crimea. 
The conduct of our dear noble Troops is beyond praise ; it is 
quite heroic, and really I feel a pride to have such Troops, which 
is only equalled by my grief for their sufferings. We now 
know that there has been a pitched battle on the 6th, in which 
we have been victorious over much greater numbers, but with 
great loss on both sides the greatest on the Russian. But 
we know nothing more, and now we must live in a suspense 
which is indeed dreadful. Then to think of the num ers of 
families who are living in such anxiety ! It is terrible to think 
of all the wretched wives and mothers who are awaiting the 
fate of those nearest and dearest to them ! In short, it is a 
time which requires courage and patience to bear as one ought. 
Many thanks, dearest Uncle, for your kind letter of the llth, 
which I received on Saturday. The Brabants will soon leave 
you ; I shall write to Leo to-morrow or next day, quand je 
pourrais un pen rassembler mes idees. I must now conclude, 
dearest Uncle. With Albert's affectionate love, ever your 
devoted Niece, VICTOBIA R. 

Queen Victoria to Lord Raglan. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, ISth November 1854 

The Queen has received with pride and joy the telegraphic 
news of the glorious, but alas ! bloody victory of the 5th. 1 
These feelings of pride and satisfaction are, however, painfully 
alloyed by the grievous news of the loss of so many Generals, 
and in particular Sir George Cathcart who was so distin- 
guished and excellent an officer. 2 

We are most thankful that Lord Raglan's valuable life has 
been spared ; and the Queen trusts that he will not expose 
himself more than is absolutely necessary. 

The Queen cannot sufficiently express her high sense of the 
great services he has rendered and is rendering to her and the 
country, by the very able manner in which he has led the bravest 
troops that ever fought, and which it is a pride to her to be 
able to call her own. To mark the Queen's feelings of approba- 
tion she wishes to confer on Lord Raglan the Baton of Field- 

1 The English loss at the battle of Inkerman was over 2,500 killed and wounded ; the 
French lost 1,800. The loss of the enemy was doubtful, but the Russian estimate (much 
smaller than our own) was about 12,000 killed, wounded, and prisoners. The Grand 
Dukes Nicholas and Michael both fought in the battle. 

2 Besides Sir George Cathc irt, Brigadier-Generals Strrmgways and Goldie were killed. 
Sir George Brown was shot through the arm, Major-Generals Bentinck and Codrington, 
and Brigadier-General Adams were all severely wounded, but not so seriously. Sir de 
Lacy FA-ans a few days earlier, being then in shattered health, had had a fall from his 
horse, and was absent from the battle. 


Marshal. It affords her the sincerest gratification to confer it 
on one who has so nobly earned the highest rank in the Army, 
which he so long served in under the immortal hero, who she 
laments could not witness the success of a friend he so greatly 

Both the Prince and Queen are anxious to express to Lord 
Raglan their unbounded admiration of the heroic conduct of 
the Army, and their sincere sympathy in their sufferings and 
privations so nobly borne. 

The Queen thanks Lord Raglan for his kind letter of the 28th 

The Earl of Aberdeen to Queen Victoria. 

LONDON, 23rd November 1854. 

Lord Aberdeen presents his most humble duty to your 
Majesty. He regrets, at a moment of such public interest and 
importance, to trouble your Majesty with domestic difficulties ; 
but he thinks it his duty to lay before your Majesty the enclosed 
correspondence without delay. 1 Lord Aberdeen has for some 
time past expected a proposition of this kind, and it is impossible 
not to see that it may be attended with very serious conse- 
quences. At first Lord Aberdeen was in doubt whether the 
proposition was made by Lord J. Russell in concert with Lord 
Palmerston ; but this appears not to be the case. Much will 
therefore depend on the decision of Lord Palmerston. Should 
he join with Lord John, matters will probably be pushed to 
extremity ; but should he decline, Lord Aberdeen does not 
think that Lord John will venture to act alone. 

Queen Victoria to the Marquis of Dalhousie. 

24th November 1854. 

The Queen thanks Lord Dalhousie for his long and most 
interesting and satisfactory letter of the 2nd of October. 

It is peculiarly gratifying to hear of such quiet and prosperity 
in her vast Indian dominions, in which the Queen ever takes 
the liveliest interest, and at the present moment of intense 
anxiety, when England's best and noblest blood is being pro- 
fusely shed to resist the encroaching spirit of Russia. The 
heroism of our noble Troops in the midst of herculean difficulties 
and great privations is unequalled, and will fill Lord Dalhousie's 
loyal and patriotic heart with pride and admiration. Though 
entirely concurring in his opinion that Russia can undertake 

i Lord John Russell urged, in this correspondence, that Lord Palmerston should super- 
sede the Duke of Newcastle at the War Office. 


no invasion of India, her spirit of encroachment on the north 
frontier must be carefully watched and, if possible, put a stop 
to, when peace is made. / 

The progress of the railroad will make an immense difference 
in India, and tend more than anything else to bring about 
civilisation, and will in the end facilitate the spread of Chris- 
tianity, which hitherto has made but very slow progress. 

The Queen was already aware of the idea formerly enter- 
tained by the Maharajah Dhuleep Singh of marrying the young 
Princess of Coorg. 1 Agreeing as she does with Lord Dalhousie 
in the wisdom of advising the young man to pause before he 
makes his choice of a wife, she thinks such a marriage between 
these two most interesting young Christians most desirable ; 
indeed, as Lord Dalhousie himself observes, the difficulty of 
any other marriage for either must be great. The young 
people have met and were pleased with each other, so that the 
Queen hopes that their union will, in the course of time, come 
to pass. Her little god-daughter has been here lately, and 
though still childish for her age (she is nearly fourteen) is 
pretty, lively, intelligent, and going on satisfactorily in her 

Of the young Maharajah, who has now been twice our guest, 
we can only speak in terms of praise. He promises to be a 
bright example to all Indian Princes, for he is thoroughly good 
and amiable, and most anxious to improve himself. 

Prince Edward of Saxe- Weimar 2 to Queen Victoria. 

CAMP BEFORE SEBASTOPOL, 28th November 1854. 

MADAM, Your Majesty's very kind letter reached me by 
the last mail. I avail myself of your permission to write to 
you again, although there is not much to say since I last wrote 
to Prince Albert on the 7th or 8th of this month. I wrote to 
him soon after the battle of Inkerman, when I was still under 
the excitement of that fearful scene, and I am afraid that I 
made use of expressions that I was afterwards sorry that I had 
done. I believe I made some reflections on our Commanders, 
which are at all times wrong. By this time your Majesty will, 

1 A few years earlier, while still holding his ancestral creed, Dhuleep Singh^had made 
overtures to the ex-Rajah of Coorg with a view to his betrothal to the eldest daughter of 
the latter ; but at that time the matter was dropped. After becoming a Christian, and 
having also heard of the baptism of the Princess of Coorg, the Maharajah renewed his 
proposal, which, however, was not eventually accepted. The Princess married an 
English officer, and died in 1864, aged twenty-four. 

2 Son of Duke Charles Bernard and Duchess Ida, the latter being a Princess of Saxe- 
Meiningen and sister to Queen Adelaide. The Prince was at this time Lieut.-Colonel and 
A.D.C. to Lord Raglan. He was afterwards A.D.C. to the Queen and ultimately Com- 
mander of the Forces in Ireland. He died in 1902. 


cf course, be in possession of all the details of that fearful day, 
on which our loss was so very great. 1 I made a mistake in 
stating the number of dead in the Grenadiers ; it was much 
larger than I stated. I think we must have suffered more than 
any other Corps, for, on the following day, when the roll was 
called, two hundred and twenty-five men were absent ; of 
these one hundred and one were killed, and the rest wounded. 
There cannot be any doubt that we allowed ourselves to be 
surprised, for the first notice we had of the Russians was 
receiving their heavy shot in the camp of the 2nd Division. 
Nearly all their tents were torn by round shot. It is even said 
that a shell lodged in an officer's portmanteau, burst, and, of 
course, scattered all his goods to the winds. Experience has 
made us wise, or rather Lord Raglan wise, for since that day 
the French and ourselves have been busy in entrenching our 
right ; it is now so strong that no enemy can attack us there 
with the slightest chance of success ; it is only a pity it was not 
done before. The Turks were chiefly employed making these 
redoubts, which is in fact the only thing they have done except 
burying the dead Russians. Never shall I forget the sight of 
the dead and dying Russians on the field. Some of these poor 
wretches had to lie on the field for at least sixty hours before 
they were removed to the hospital tents ; the majority of 
course died. I am afraid this is one of the necessities of war, 
for we had to remove our own people first. I went round the 
hospitals next morning. It was a horrid sight to see the bodies 
of the men who had died during the night stretched before the 
tents, and to see the heaps of arms and legs, with the trousers 
and boots still on, that had been cut off by the surgeons. 

The Russians were so near that most of the officers had to use 
their swords and revolvers. Many single acts of daring took 
place ; among others, Colonel Percy, 2 of our Regiment, dashed 
in front of his Company, sword in hand, into a dense body of 
Russians who were in a battery. I was not in the thick of it, 
but was engaged with an outlying picquet on the left of the 
attack. George was in the very thick of it, and, not seeing me, 
kept asking some of our men where I was. They did not know. 
He tells me that he thought for a long time I was killed, and 
even fancied that he had seen me lying on the ground ; it 
turned out later to have been poor Colonel Dawson's 3 body 
which he mistook for me. 

1 See ante, p. 52, note 1. 

2 Colonel Henry Hugh Manvera Percy, 1817-1877, whose father afterwards became 
the fifth Duke of Northumberland. The Legion of Honour, the Medjidie, and the V.C. 
were all subsequently conferred on him. 

3 Hon. Thomas Vesey Dawson, brother of the third Lord Cremorne (created Earl of 


On the 14th we had a terrible storm, such a one as, fortunately 
for mankind, does not happen but very rarely. All our tents 
of course were blown down, and we passed the day very un- 
comfortably ; but at sea it was terrible. At Balaklava alone 
more than two hundred and sixty souls perished, and eleven 
ships went down. George will have been able to give you a 
perfect account of it, for, for many hours, the Retribution was 
in imminent danger. I went a few days after the storm to see 
him on board. 1 . . . He had a little fever or ague on him, but was 
otherwise well. He has now gone to Constantinople. . . . 

May I beg of your Majesty to remember me kindly to Prince 
Albert and the Duchess of Kent. I have the honour, etc. 


Queen Victoria to the Duke of Newcastle. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 30tf November 1854. 

The Queen thinks that no time should be lost in announcing 
the intention of the Queen to confer a medal on all those who 
have been engaged in the arduous and brilliant campaign in the 

The medal should have the word " Crimea " on it, with an 
appropriate device (for which it would be well to lose no time 
in having a design made) and clasps like to the Peninsular 
Medal, with the names Alma and Inkerman inscribed on them, 
according to who had been in one or both battles. Sebastopol, 
should it fall, or any other name of a battle which Providence 
may permit our brave troops to gain, can be inscribed on other 
clasps hereafter to be added. The names Alma and Inkerman 
should likewise be borne on the colours of all the regiments 
who have been engaged in these bloody and glorious actions. 

The Queen is sure that nothing will gratify and encourage our 
noble troops more than the knowledge that this is to be done. 

We have just had two hours' most interesting conversation 
with General Bentinck, 2 whose sound good sense and energy 
make us deeply regret that he is not now on the spot ; he is, 

1 In this terrible hurricane the Prince, a new and magnificent steamer, with a cargo 
of the value of 500,000, including powder, shot and shell, beds, blankets, warm clothing 
for the troops, and medical stores for the hospitals, was lost ; six men only of a crew of 
one hundred and fifty were saved ; but the soldiers of the Forty-sixth, whom she was 
conveying to Balaklava, had happily been landed. Thirty of our transports, as well as 
the French warship Henri IV., were wrecked. A thousand men were lost, and many 
more escaped drowning, only to fall into the hands of the Cossacks and be carried to 
Sebastopol. One solitary source of consolation could be found in the circumstance 
that the tempest did not occur at an earlier period, when six hundred vessels, heavily 
laden and dangerously crowded together, were making their way from Varna to Old 

2 General (afterwards Sir Henry) Bentinck had been wounded at Inkerman ; he 
returned to the Crimea to command a Division. 


however, ready to go out again next year, as Lord Raglan 
wishes to give him a Division. We hope that, after two or 
three months' rest, he may be able to go out again. 

The Earl of Aberdeen to Queen Victoria. 

LONDON, 7th December 1854. 

Lord Aberdeen presents his humble duty to your Majesty. 
He would have been desirous of personally submitting to your 
Majesty the result of the meeting of the Cabinet last night ; 
but he was apprehensive that his sudden journey to Windsor 
Castle this morning would give rise to speculations and con- 
jectures which, in the present state of the Ministry, it is as well 
to avoid. 

Lord Aberdeen thinks he may venture to assure your Majesty 
that the correspondence recently circulated is regarded by all 
the Members of the Cabinet precisely in the same light ; and 
that the propositions of Lord John Russell are considered by 
all as quite untenable. Lord Palmerston forms no exception ; 
and, whatever may be his views in future, it is clear that at 
present he contemplates no changes in the Government. Lord 
John was himself fully aware of this unanimity, and remained 
entirely silent with respect to his former suggestions. He 
dwelt in general terms on the absence of vigour in the prose- 
cution of the war, and stated his conviction that the same 
course would be observed in future. He referred to his position 
in the House of Commons with much bitterness, and declared 
that he would never pass such another Session of Parliament 
as the last. He attributed the frequent defeats of the Govern- 
ment in the House of Commons to the Reform Bill having been 
withdrawn, by which it was shown that hostile attacks might 
be made with impunity. 

It was obvious, however, that the drift of his observations 
tended to the substitution of himself as the Head of the Govern- 
ment rather than to any change of Departments ; and this he 
did not deny, when Lord Aberdeen pointed out the inference 
to be drawn from his remarks. 

Finally, Lord John said that he had quite made up his mind. 
He was ready to continue in office during the short Session 
before Christmas, and to defend all that had been done ; but 
that he was determined to retire after Christmas. An observa- 
tion being made that it would be unconstitutional to go into 
Parliament with such a determination, he replied that, if such 
was the opinion, he would request Lord Aberdeen to convey 
his resignation to-morrow morning to your Majesty, which, at 
all events, would be perfectly constitutional. 


Lord Aberdeen feels it to be his duty to state to your Majesty 
that, whatever may be the real cause, Lord John has made 
up his mind to act in the manner he has announced. 

In this situation it is Lord Aberdeen's desire to come to your 
Majesty's assistance by any means in his power. Lord John's 
defection will be a great blow, from which it is very doubtful 
if the Government could recover ; but Lord Aberdeen will come 
to no conclusion or form any decided opinion until he shall 
have had the honour of seeing your Majesty. 

Memorandum by the Prince Albert. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 9th December 1854. 

Lord Aberdeen arrived yesterday evening, leaving the 
Cabinet sitting, revising the Speech from the Throne. 1 He 
had come to no decision. Sir James Graham and Mr Glad- 
stone had been anxious that he should accept Lord John's 
resignation at once. He himself felt reluctant to do anything 
which might be considered harsh towards Lord John, and might 
make him a martyr hereafter. There was no doubt, however, 
that they could not go on with Lord John. The universal 
feeling of the Cabinet seemed to be one of indignation ... at 
Lord John's conduct. Nobody had expressed himself stronger 
about it than Lord Lansdowne to Lord Clarendon, feeling it, as 
he said, " quite a necessity to speak out." The Chancellor 
said he owed his political allegiance to Lord John as well as his 
office ; but as a man of honour he could not go with him. Lord 
Granville feels the same. Lord Palmerston had written a long 
and very able letter to Lord John, proving the impossibility 
of joining the offices of Secretary at War and Secretary of State 
for War. Lord John had now, however, dropped his proposal 
altogether, and made it quite clear that it was Lord Aberdeen 
he wished to have removed. He said to Lord Palmerston: 
" When the Cabinet was formed, I always understood that Lord 
Aberdeen would soon give me up my old place ; it has now 
lasted more than two years, and he seemed to get enamoured 
with office, and I could not meet the House of Commons in the 
position I was in last Session." 

In answer to Lord Palmerston's enquiry what he would do, 
and how he could expose the Country to such fearful risks at 
such a moment, he said that he would support the Government 
out of office. " You will support it at the head of a very 
virulent Opposition," was Lord Palmerston's reply ; " and 

1 Parliament was to meet on the 12th, chiefly for the purpose of passing a Foreign 
Enlistment Bill, authorising the immediate enlistment of 15,000 (afterwards reduced to 
10,000) foreigners, to be drilled in this country. 


when you have succeeded in overthrowing the Government, 
which has difficulty enough to hold its ground even with your 
assistance, what will you say to the Country ? Will you 
say : ' Here I am. I have triumphed, and have displaced, 
in the midst of most hazardous operations, all the ablest men 
the Country has produced ; but I shall take their place with 
Mr Vernon Smith, Lord Seymour, Lord Minto, and others. . .' " 

Sir Charles Wood is the only person who says it is all nothing, 
and he knows Lord John, and it is sure to blow over. 

Lord Aberdeen said it is come to a point where this is no 
longer possible, as he laid his ground not only on the position 
that the war had been badly conducted, but that it would be 
so for the future. 

At the Cabinet yesterday a significant incident occurred : 
Lord John asked what should become of Reform. Lord 
Aberdeen's answer was, that it had been set aside on account 
of the war, and that as the war was now raging at its height, 
it could not be brought on again. Later, when they came to 
the passage about Education, Lord John made an alteration 
in the Draft, adding something about strengthening the in- 
stitutions of the Country. Lord Palmerston started up and 
asked : " Does that mean Reform ? " Lord John answered : 
" It might or might not." " Well, then," said Lord Palmer- 
ston, with a heat of manner which struck the whole Cabinet, 
and was hardly justified by the occasion, " I wish it to be 
understood that I protest against any direct or indirect at- 
tempt to bring forward the Reform question again ! " Lord 
John, nettled, muttered to himself, but loud enough to be 
heard by everybody : " Then I shall bring forward the 
Reform Bill at once." 

It is evident to me that after this a junction between Lord 
Palmerston and Lord John is impossible, and that it must have 
been Lord Palmerston's object to make this clear to the Cabinet. 
Lord Aberdeen has declared that he is quite willing to yield 
his post to Lord John but that it would not suffice to have 
got a head that there must be some Members also, and where 
are they to be found ? He is certain that not one of the 
present Cabinet could now serve under Lord John. An 
attempt to solve the question how the present Government 
is to be maintained, naturally leads everybody to the same 
conclusion : that Lord Palmerston must be substituted for 
Lord John as the Leader of the House of Commons. Dis- 
agreeable as this must be ... to Lord Aberdeen, and dangerous 
as the experiment may turn out, we agreed with Lord Aberdeen 
that he should make the offer to him with the Queen's consent. 
An alternative proposed by Lord Clarendon, that Lord 


Aberdeen should ask Lord John what he advised him to do 
under the circumstances, was strongly condemned by me, as 
depriving Lord Aberdeen of all the advantage of the initiative 
with Lord Palmerston. Lord Aberdeen states his great 
difficulty to be not only the long antecedent and mutual 
opposition between him and Lord Palmerston, but also the 
fact that Lord Palmerston loved war for war's sake, and he 
peace for peace' sake. . . . He consoled himself, however, at 
last by the reflection that Lord Palmerston was not worse than 
Lord John in that respect, and, on the other hand, gave greater 
weight to the consideration of what was practicable. It re- 
mains open for the present whether Lord John is to act as the 
organ for the Government during the short Session, and resign 
afterwards, or to resign now. ALBERT. 

Queen Victoria to Viscount Hardinge. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, IQth December 1854. 

The Queen is glad to hear of Lord Rokeby's readiness to go 
out, as she is sure that he will prove himself an efficient officer 
in command of that noble Brigade of Guards. 1 

The Queen must repeat again her opinion relative to General 
Bentinck. She thinks that he ought to go out again, and that, 
if a division were offered to him, he would not hesitate (when 
he has recruited his health) to go out. For the sake of 
example it would be most desirable, for there evidently is an 
inclination to ask for leave to go home, which would be very 
detrimental to the Army. 

The Earl of Aberdeen to Queen Victoria. 

LONDON, IQth December 1854. 

Lord Aberdeen presents his humble duty to your Majesty. 
The Cabinet met to-day, and discussed various measures, 
with a view to their introduction into Parliament during the 
course of the ensuing Session. In this discussion Lord John 
Russell took an active part, and must have greatly astonished 
his colleagues, after their knowledge of all that had recently 
passed. Lord Aberdeen had been previously made aware, 
although not by himself, of the change which had taken place in 
Lord John's intentions. After the meeting of the Cabinet, 
Lord John came to Lord Aberdeen, and spoke of the affair of 

l Lord Rokeby had on the previous evening been offered and had accepted the 


Mr Kennedy, 1 but did not seem disposed to advert to any other 
subject. Lord Aberdeen therefore took an opportunity of 
referring to the correspondence which had taken place, and the 
notice which had been given by Lord John. Without any 
embarrassment, or apparent sense of inconsistency, he at once 
admitted that he had changed his intention, and attributed 
it chiefly to a conversation yesterday with Lord Panmure, 
who, although a great military reformer, had convinced him 
that the present was not a fitting time for his proposed changes. 
Lord Aberdeen had not seen any member of the Cabinet 
this evening since the meeting terminated, and does not know 
how they may be affected by this change. Some, he feels sure, 
will be disappointed ; but, on the whole, he feels disposed to 
be well satisfied. It is true that there can be no security for 
a single week ; and it is impossible to escape from a sense 
of self-degradation by submitting to such an unprecedented 
state of relations amongst colleagues ; but the scandal of a 
rupture would be so great, and the evils which might ensue so 
incalculable, that Lord Aberdeen is sincerely convinced it will 
be most advantageous for your Majesty's service, and for the 
public, to endeavour, by a conciliatory and prudent course of 
conduct, to preserve tranquillity and union as long as possible. 
This does not exclude the necessity of firmness ; and in the 
present case Lord Aberdeen has yielded nothing whatever, 
but he has received Lord John's change without resentment or 

The Duke of Newcastle to Queen Victoria. 

WAR DEPARTMENT, 22nd December 1854. 

. . . The Duke of Newcastle assures your Majesty that the 
condition of the Hospital at Scutari, and the entire want of 
all method and arrangement in everything which concerns 
the comfort of the Army, are subjects of constant and most 
painful anxiety to him, and he wishes most earnestly that he 
could see his way clearly to an early and complete remedy. 2 

Nothing can be more just than are all your Majesty's 
comments upon the state of facts exhibited by these letters, and 
the Duke of Newcastle has repeatedly, during the last two 

1 Mr Kennedy (who was remotely connected by marriage with Lord John) had been 
removed by Mr Gladstone from an office he held. Lord John took it up as a family 

2 Early in November, a band of capable and devoted nurses, under the superintendence 
of Miss Florence Nightingale, had arrived at Scutari, the experiment having been devised 
and projected by Mr Sidney Herbert, who was a personal friend of Miss Nightingale. 
The party was accompanied by Mr and Mrs Bracebridge, whose letters describing the 
condition of the hospitals had been sent by the Queen to the Duke of Newcastle. 


months, written in the strongest terms respecting them but 
hitherto without avail, and with little other result than a 
denial of charges, the truth of which must now be considered 
to be substantiated. 

Your Majesty is aware that the Duke of Newcastle sent out 
a Commission to enquire into the whole state of the Medical 
Department nearly three months ago, and he expects a report 
very soon. 

In the meantime, the Duke of Newcastle will again write 
in the sense of your Majesty's letter to him. 

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 30th December 1854. 

MY DEAREST UNCLE, Once more, in this old and very 
eventful year, allow me to address you, and to ask you for the 
continuation of that love and affection which you have ever 
borne me ! May God bless you and yours in this New Year 
and though the old one departs in war and blood, may we 
hope to see this year restore peace to this troubled world, and 
may we meet again also ! 

With the affectionate wishes of all the children, believe me 
always, your most devoted Niece, VICTORIA R. 


AT the end of the year 1854, negotiations had been on foot with a 
view to terminating the war, on terms which were known as the 
" Four Points," the third of which was designed to extinguish 
Russian preponderance in the Black Sea ; and a conference of the 
Powers ultimately assembled at Vienna for the purpose. Early in 
1855, Sardinia, under the influence of Cavour, her Premier, joined 
the Western Alliance against Russia. On Parliament re-assembling 
in January, Mr Roebuck gave notice of a motion for the appointment 
of a Committee to enquire into the conduct of the war. Lord John 
Russell, finding himself unable to resist the motion, at once resigned, 
and the Ministry was overwhelmingly defeated by a majority of more 
than two to one. Lord Derby, as Leader of the Conservative 
Opposition, was summoned to form a Ministry, but failed to do so ; 
the age of Lord Lansdowne prevented his accepting the Premiership ; 
and Lord John Russell, whose action had largely contributed to the 
defeat of the coalition, then attempted the task, but found that he 
could not command the support even of his old Whig colleagues. The 
Queen accordingly desired Lord Palmerston, whom the voice of the 
country unmistakably indicated for the Premiership, to construct a 
Government ; he was successful in the attempt, the Cabinet being a 
reconstruction of that of Lord Aberdeen, with Lord Panmure sub- 
stituted for the Duke of Newcastle at the War Office, while Lord 
John Russell was appointed British Plenipotentiary at the Vienna 
Conference. The new Premier desired to prevent the actual appoint- 
ment of the Committee which Mr Roebuck's motion demanded, the 
displacement of the late Ministry the real objective of the attack 
having been effected ; but as the House of Commons manifested a 
determination to proceed with the appointment of the Committee, 
the Peelite section of the Cabinet (Sir James Graham, Mr Gladstone, 
and Mr Sidney Herbert) withdrew, and Lord John Russell, who was 
then on his way to Vienna, accepted the Secretaryship of the Colonies. 
Early in March, the Czar Nicholas died suddenly of pulmonary 
apoplexy, and the expectation of peace increased ; shortly afterwards, 
the Emperor and Empress of the French paid a state visit to this 
country, and were received with much enthusiasm, the Emperor 
being made a Knight of the Garter. 

In February, a determined attack by the Russians upon Eupatoria 
was repulsed by the Turks ; the defenders of Sebastopol, however, 



succeeded in occupying and fortifying an important position, after- 
wards known as the " Mamelon." Tha bombardment was resumed 
by the Allies in April, and a successful attack made upon Kertsch, 
from which the supplies of Sebastopol were mainly drawn ; while 
a squadron under Captain Lyons destroyed the Russian magazines 
and stores in the Sea of Azov. General Canrobert was succeeded in 
the French command by General Pelissier, and on the 7th of June 
the Mamelon was taken by the French. A desperate but, as it 
proved, unsuccessful assault was then made by the Allies on the 
Redan and Malakhoff batteries ; at this juncture Lord Raglan died, 
and was succeeded in the command by General Simpson. 

The Vienna Conference proved abortive, Russia refusing to accept 
the third point, and though a compromise was proposed by Austria, 
which was favoured by the British and French Plenipotentiaries, 
their respective Governments did not ratify their views. The nego- 
tiations accordingly broke down, and Lord John Russell, on his 
return, used language in Parliament quite inconsistent with the view 
which it afterwards appeared he had urged at Vienna. He was loudly 
denounced for this, and, to avoid Parliamentary censure, again 
resigned office. 

Among the measures which became law during the session, were 
those for enabling companies to be formed with limited liability, and 
for granting self-government to some of the Australasian Colonies. 
The Committee appointed by the House of Commons held its meet- 
ings in public (after a proposal to keep its investigations secret had 
been rejected), and, by the casting vote of the Chairman, reported that 
the late Cabinet, when directing the expedition to the Crimea, had 
had no adequate information as to the force they would have to 
encounter there ; but a motion to " visit with severe reprehension " 
every member of the Cabinet was parried by carrying the " previous 

In August, the Queen and Prince Albert paid a return visit to the 
French Emperor, and were received with great magnificence in Paris, 
while later in the year King Victor Emmanuel of Sardinia visited this 
country, and was made a Knight of the Garter. On the 9th of 
August, Sweaborg was severely bombarded by the allied fleets in the 
Baltic, and a forlorn attempt to raise the siege of Sebastopol resulted 
in another decisive success at the Tchernaya, the Sardinian contin- 
gent fighting with great bravery. Sebastopol fell on the 8th of 
September, after a siege of three hundred and forty-nine days ; the 
citadel of Kinburn was bombarded and surrendered in October, after 
which General Simpson retired, in favour of Sir William Codrington. 
On the other hand, the fortress of Kars in Armenia, which had been 
defended by General Fenwick Williams, had to surrender to the 
Russian General Mouravieff, in circumstances, however, so honour- 
able, that the officers were allowed to retain their swords, and their 
General received a Baronetcy and a pension of 1000 a year. 


Queen Victoria to the Earl of Clarendon. 

OSBORNE, 9th January 1855. 

THE Queen received Lord Clarendon's box by special mes- 
senger yesterday evening. The acceptance by Russia of our 
interpretation of the four points 1 is a most clever, diplomatic 
mano3uvre, and very embarrassing for us at this moment, 
before Sebastopol is taken, and before Austria has been com- 
pelled to join in the war. It leaves us no alternative but to 
meet in conference, which, however, in the Queen's opinion, 
ought to be preceded by a despatch to Austria, putting on 
record our opinion as to the nature and object of the step taken 
by Russia, and the advantages she hopes to derive by it from 
Austria and Germany, and the disadvantages she expects to 
inflict on the Western Powers. As hostilities ought not to 
be interrupted unless the Russians give up Sebastopol and 
evacuate the Crimea (which would give rest and quiet to our 
poor soldiers), there still remains the hope of our getting the 
place before preliminaries of peace could be signed ; and in 

1 The celebrated " Four Points " were 

1. Cessation of the Bussian protectorate over Moldavia, Wallachia, and Servia : 

the privileges granted by the Sultan to the Principalities to be collectively 
guaranteed by the Powers. 

2. Free navigation of the Danube. 

3. Termination of the preponderance of Eussia in the Black Sea. 

4. Abandonment by Eussia of her claim over any subjects of the Porte ; the 

Five Powers to co-operate in obtaining from the Sultan the confirmation 
and observance of the religious privileges of the different Christian com- 
munities, and to turn to account in their common interest the generous 
intentions manifested by the Sultan, without infringing his dignity or the 
independence of his crown. 

Towards the end of 1854, negotiations as to the Four Points had been proceeding 
between the Allies and Austria, and on the 28th of December the Three Powers had 
agreed in communicating to Eussia a memorandum giving a more exact interpretation 
of the Four Points. This was agreed upon as the basis on which the Plenipotentiaries 
were to meet at Vienna to settle the Eastern Question, and to conclude the war. 

Another event, productive ultimately of results of great importance, took place at 
the end of January. King Victor Emmanuel of Sardinia joined the Western Alliance, 
and despatched 15,000 men under General La Marmora to the Crimea. This act was 
inspired by Cavour, the Sardinian Prime Minister, who took the step that Austria hesitated 
to take, and thereby established strong claims both upon the Emperor Napoleon and 
Lord Palmerston. 

VOL. ni 65 3 


that case a Peace on the four points would be everything we 
could desire, and much preferable to the chance of future 
convulsions of the whole state of Europe. Russia would then 
have yielded all our wishes for the future. 

A mere moral defeat, such as Count Buol seems disposed 
to consider as sufficient, would soon prove to have been none 
at all, and Austria would be the Power which, to its cost, 
would find out (when too late) that the preponderance of 
Russia is by no means diminished. 

The Queen has given her permission to Lord John to go to 
Paris ; he will find the Emperor as little able to help himself 
in this stage of the business as ourselves. 

The Queen is afraid that the news of the Russian acceptance 
may induce our commanders in the Crimea to rest on their 
oars, and thinks it necessary, therefore, that immediate orders 
should go out, pointing out that the early fall of the town is 
just now more important than ever. 

The Queen wishes Lord Clarendon to communicate this 
letter to Lord Aberdeen and the Duke of Newcastle. 

She returns to Windsor this afternoon. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Aberdeen. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 10th January 1855. 

Before Parliament meets for probably a very stormy Session, 
the Queen wishes to give a public testimony of her continued 
confidence in Lord Aberdeen's administration, by offering him 
the vacant Blue Ribbon. The Queen need not add a word 
on her personal feelings of regard and friendship for Lord 
Aberdeen, which are known to him now for a long period of 

The Earl of Aberdeen to Queen Victoria. 

LONDON, 10th January 1855. 

Lord Aberdeen presents his most humble duty to your 
Majesty. He has had the honour of receiving your Majesty's 
most gracious letter, and humbly begs to return your Majesty 
his grateful acknowledgments for this mark of your Majesty's 
continued confidence and favour. When your Majesty 
mentioned the subject to Lord Aberdeen some time ago, he 
had not thought of any such distinction ; and perhaps at his 
time of life, and with his present prospects, he scarcely ought 
to do so. There is no doubt that this unequivocal mark of 
gracious favour might strengthen his hands, and especially in 
those quarters where it would be most useful ; but the power 


of misconstruction and malevolence is so great that the effect 
might possibly be more injurious than beneficial. 

Perhaps your Majesty would be graciously pleased to permit 
Lord Aberdeen to reflect a little on the subject, and to submit 
his thoughts to your Majesty. 

Lord Aberdeen entreats your Majesty to believe that in this, 
as in everything else, it is his desire to look exclusively to your 
Majesty's welfare. When he leaves your Majesty's service, 
your Majesty may be fully aware of his many imperfections as 
a Minister ; but he trusts that your Majesty will always have 
reason to regard him as perfectly disinterested. 

The Earl of Aberdeen to Queen Victoria. 

LONDON, llth January 1855. 

Lord Aberdeen presents his most humble duty to your 
Majesty. He has maturely reflected on the subject of your 
Majesty's gracious letter of yesterday, and he is fully sensible 
of the very important advantage which, in his official position, 
he might derive from such a public and signal proof of your 
Majesty's confidence and favour. 

Although this might naturally give rise to more or less of 
political animadversion, Lord Aberdeen would not hesitate in 
his decision, if the alternative were only between himself and 
some Peer of high rank whose claim consisted in being a sup- 
porter of the Government ; but Lord Aberdeen believes that 
he may venture to make a suggestion to your Majesty, the 
effect of which would redound to your Majesty's honour, and 
which might not prove altogether disadvantageous to himself. 

Lord Aberdeen understands that in consequence of the 
regulations of the Order, Lord Cardigan could not properly 
receive the Grand Cross of the Bath. From his rank and sta- 
tion, Lord Cardigan might fairly pretend to the Garter, but his 
violent party politics would make it impossible for Lord Aber- 
deen, under ordinary circumstances, to submit his name to 
your Majesty for this purpose. At the same time, Lord Cardi- 
gan's great gallantry and personal sacrifices seem to afford him 
a just claim to your Majesty's favourable consideration ; and 
Lord Aberdeen believes that to confer upon him the Blue Rib- 
bon at this moment would be regarded as a very graceful act 
on the part of your Majesty. It is even possible that Lord 
Aberdeen's political opponents might give him some credit for 
tendering such advice. 

If therefore your Majesty should be pleased to take the same 
view of this matter, Lord Aberdeen would communicate with 
Lord Cardigan on his arrival in London, and would willingly 


postpone all consideration of your Majesty's gracious intentions 
towards himself. But Lord Aberdeen will venture humbly to 
repeat his grateful sense of all your Majesty's kindness, and his 
acknowledgments for the expression of sentiments which he can 
never sufficiently value. 1 

Queen Victoria to the Duke of Newcastle. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 12th January 1855. 

The Queen returns the enclosed despatch to the Duke of 
Newcastle, which she has read with much pleasure, as bringing 
before Lord Raglan in an official manner which will require 
official enquiry and answer the various points so urgently 
requiring his attention and remedial effort. It is at the same 
time so delicately worded that it ought not to offend, although 
it cannot help, from its matter, being painful to Lord Raglan. 
The Queen has only one remark to make, viz. the entire omis- 
sion of her name throughout the document. It speaks simply 
in the name of the People of England, and of their sympathy, 
whilst the Queen feels it to be one of her highest prerogatives 
and dearest duties to care for the welfare and success of her 
Army. Had the despatch not gone before it was submitted to 
the Queen, in a few words the Duke of Newcastle would have 
rectified this omission. 

The Duke of Newcastle might with truth have added that, 
making every allowance for the difficulties before Sebastopol, 
it is difficult to imagine how the Army could ever be moved in the 
field, if the impossibility of keeping it alive is felt in a stationary 
camp only seven miles from its harbour, with the whole British 
Navy and hundreds of transports at its command. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Aberdeen. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 13th January 1855, 

The Queen has received Lord Aberdeen's letter of the llth, 
and has since seen Lord John Russell's letter. It shows that 
the practice of the Queen's different Cabinet Ministers going to 
Paris, to have personal explanations with the Emperor, besides 
being hardly a constitutional practice, must lead to much 
misunderstanding. How is the Emperor to distinguish between 
the views of the Queen's Government and the private opinions 
of the different members of the Cabinet, all more or less vary- 
ing, particularly in a Coalition Government ? 

The Queen hopes therefore that this will be the last such 

i Subsequently Lord Aberdeen yielded to the Queen's affectionate insistence, and was 
installed Knight of the Garter at a Chapter held on the 7th of February. 


visit. The Ambassador is the official organ of communication, 
and the Foreign Secretary is responsible for his doing his duty, 
and has the means of controlling him by his instructions and 
the despatches he receives, all of which are placed on record. 1 

Lord Raglan to Queen Victoria. 

BEFORE SEBASTOPOL, 20tJi January 1855. 

Lord Raglan presents his humble duty to your Majesty, and 
has the honour to acknowledge with every sentiment of devo- 
tion and gratitude your Majesty's most gracious letter of 1st 
January, and the kind wishes which your Majesty and the 
Prince are pleased to unite in offering to the Army and your 
Majesty's most humble servant on the occasion of the New 

The deep concern and anxiety felt by your Majesty and the 
Prince for the privations of the troops, their unceasing labours, 
their exposure to bad weather, and the extensive sickness 
which prevails among them, are invaluable proofs of the lively 
interest which your Majesty and His Royal Highness take in 
the welfare of an Army which, under no circumstances, will 
cease to revere the name, and apply all its best energies to the 
service of your Majesty. 

Lord Raglan can with truth assure your Majesty that his 
whole time and all his thoughts are occupied in endeavouring 
to provide for the various wants of your Majesty'.s troops. It 
has not been in his power to lighten the burthen of their duties. 
Those exacted from them before Sebastopol are for the preser- 
vation of the trenches and batteries ; and there are many other 
calls upon the men, more especially when, as at present, the 
roads are so bad that wheeled carriages can no longer be used, 
and that the horse transport is diminished by sickness and 
death, and that the Commissariat, having no longer any suffi- 
cient means of conveyance at its command, cannot bring up 
the daily supplies without their assistance, thereby adding, 
however inevitably, to their labour and fatigue. 

Lord Raglan begs leave to submit, for your Majesty's infor- 
mation, that the Allied Armies have no intercourse with the 
country, and can derive no resources from it ; and consequently 
all the requirements for the conveyance of stores and provisions, 
as well as the stores and provisions themselves, must be im- 
ported. Such a necessity forms in itself a difficulty of vast 

i The cause of Lord John's visit to Paris had been the illness there of his sister-in- 
law, Lady Harriet Elliot ; but he took the opportunity of conferring both with the 
Emperor and his Ministers on the conduct of the war. Walpole's Life of Lord John 
Russell, chap. xrv. 


magnitude, which has been greatly felt by him, and has been 
productive of the most serious consequences to the comfort and 
welfare of the Army. 

The coffee sent from Constantinople has been received and 
issued to the troops green, the Commissariat having no means 
whatever of roasting it. Very recently, however, an able 
officer of the Navy, Captain Heath of the Sanspareil, undertook 
to have machines made by the engineers on board his ship for 
roasting coffee ; and in this he has succeeded, but they have not 
yet produced as much as is required for the daily consumption. 

The Commissary-General applied to the Treasury for roasted 
coffee three months ago. None has as yet arrived. A very 
large amount of warm clothing has been distributed, and your 
Majesty's soldiers, habited in the cloaks of various countries, 
might be taken for the troops of any nation as well as those of 

Huts have arrived in great abundance, and as much progress 
is made in getting them up as could be hoped for, considering 
that there has been a very heavy fall of snow, and that a thaw 
has followed it, and the extremely limited means of conveyance 
at command. 

Much having been said, as Lord Raglan has been given to 
understand, in private letters, of the inefficiency of the officers 
of the Staff, he considers it to be due to your Majesty, and a 
simple act of justice to those individuals, to assure your Ma- 
jesty that he has every reason to be satisfied with their exer- 
tions, their indefatigable zeal, and undeviating, close attention 
to their duties, and he may be permitted to add that the horse 
and mule transport for the carriage of provisions and stores are 
under the charge of the Commissariat, not of the Staff, and 
that the Department in question engages the men who are hired 
to take care of it, and has exclusive authority over them. 

Lord Raglan transmitted to the Duke of Newcastle, in the 
month of December, the report of a Medical Board, which he 
caused to assemble at Constantinople for the purpose of ascer- 
taining the state of health of the Duke of Cambridge. The 
report evidently showed the necessity of His Royal Highness's 
return to England for its re-establishment. This, Lord Raglan 
knows, was the opinion of the Honourable Lieutenant-Colonel 
Macdonald, 1 whose attention and devotion to His Royal High- 
ness could not be surpassed, and who was himself very anxious 
to remain with the Army. 

The Duke, however, has not gone further than Malta, where, 
it is said, his health has not improved. 

1 The Hon. James Bosville Macdonald [1810-1882], son of the third Baron Macdonald, 
A.D.C., Equerry and Private Secretary to the Duke of Cambridge. 

1855} THE ARMY BOARD 71 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Aberdeen. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 22nd January 1855. 

The Queen has received Lord Aberdeen's letter of yesterday, 
giving an account of the proceedings of the last Cabinet. . . . 

The Queen is quite prepared to sanction the proposal of 
constituting the Secretary of State for War, the Commander-in- 
Chief, the Master-General of the Ordnance, and the Secretary 
at War, a Board on the affairs of the Army, which promises 
more unity of action in these Departments, and takes notice of 
the fact that the powers and functions of the Commander-in- 
Chief are not to be changed. As these, however, rest entirely 
on tradition, and are in most cases ambiguous and undefined, 
the Queen would wish that they should be clearly defined, and 
this the more so as she transacts certain business directly with 
him, and ought to be secured against getting into any collision 
with the Secretary of State, who also takes her pleasure, and 
gives orders to the Commander-in-Chief. She would further 
ask to be regularly furnished with the Minutes of the proceedings 
of the new Board, in order to remain acquainted with what is 
going on. ** 

Unless, however, the Militia be made over to the direction 
of the Secretary of State for War, our Army system will still 
remain very incomplete. The last experience has shown that 
the Militia will have to be looked upon as the chief st>urce for 
recruiting the Army, and this will never be done harmoniously 
and well, unless they both be brought under the same control. 

With reference to the Investiture of the Garter, the Queen 
need not assure Lord Aberdeen that there are few, if any, on 
whom she will confer the Blue Ribbon with greater pleasure 
than on so kind and valued a friend as he is to us both. 

Lord John Russell to Queen Victoria. 

CHESHAM PLACE, 24<A January 1855. 

Lord John Russell presents his humble duty to your Majesty ; 
he has had the honour of receiving your Majesty's gracious 
invitation to Windsor Castle. He would have waited upon 
your Majesty this day had he not been constrained by a sense 
of duty to write to Lord Aberdeen last night a letter of which 
he submits a copy. 

Lord John Russell trusts your Majesty will be graciously 
pleased to comply at once with his request. But he feels it 
would be right to attend your Majesty's farther commands 
before he has the honour of waiting upon your Majesty. 


[Enclosure in previous Letter.] 

Lrd John Russell to the Earl of Aberdeen. 

CHESHAM PLACE, 23rd January 1855. 

MY DEAR LORD ABERDEEN, Mr Roebuck has given notice of a 
Motion to enquire into the conduct of the war. I do not see how this 
Motion is to be resisted. But as it involves a censure of the War 
Departments with which some of my colleagues are connected, my 
only course is to tender my resignation. 

I therefore have to request you will lay my humble resignation of 
the office, which I have the honour to hold, before the Queen, with 
the expression of my gratitude for Her Majesty's kindness for many 
years. I remain, my dear Lord Aberdeen, yours very truly, 


Queen Victoria to Lord John Russell. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 24A January 1855. 

The Queen has this moment received Lord John Russell's 
letter and enclosure, and must express to him her surprise 
and concern at hearing so abruptly of his intention to desert 
her Government on the Motion of Mr Roebuck. 

Memorandum by the Prince Albert. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 25th January 1855. 

Yesterday evening Lord Aberdeen came down here. He had 
heard that Lord John had written to the Queen, and she showed 
him the correspondence. He then reported that Lord John's 
letter to him had come without the slightest notice and warning, 
and whatever the cause for it might be, the object could only be 
to upset the Government. Upon receiving it, he had sent for 
the Duke of Newcastle and shown it to him. The Duke at 
once proposed, that as a sacrifice seemed to be required to 
appease the public for the want of success in the Crimea, he 
was quite ready to be that sacrifice, and entreated that Lord 
Aberdeen would put his office into the hands of Lord Palmer- 
ston, who possessed the confidence of the nation ; Lord 
Aberdeen should propose this at once to the Cabinet, he himself 
wouldjsupport the Government out of office like in office. Lord 
Aberdeen then went to Lord Palmerston to communicate to him 
what had happened, and ascertain his feelings. Lord Palmer- 
ston was disgusted at Lord John's behaviour, 1 and did not 
consider himself the least bound to be guided by him ; he 
admitted that somehow or other the Public had a notion that 
he would manage the War Department better than anybody 
i Lord Palmerston wrote him a most scathing letter on the subject. 


else ; as for himself, he did not expect to do it half so well as 
the Duke of Newcastle, but was prepared to try it, not to let the 
Government be dissolved, which at this moment would be a 
real calamity for the country. 

The Cabinet met at two o'clock, and Lord Aberdeen laid the 
case before it. The Duke then made his proposal, and was 
followed by Lord Palmerston, who stated pretty much the 
same as he had done in the morning, upon which Sir George 
Grey said it did both the Duke and Lord Palmerston the highest 
honour, but he saw no possibility of resisting Mr Roebuck's 
Motion without Lord John ; Sir Charles Wood was of the same 
opinion. Lord Clarendon proposed that, as the Duke had given 
up his Department to Lord Palmerston, Lord John might be 
induced to remain ; but this was at once rejected by Lord 
Aberdeen on the ground that they might be justified in sacrific- 
ing the Duke to the wishes of the Country, but they could not 
to Lord John, with any degree of honour. The upshot was, 
that the Whig Members of the Cabinet, not being inclined to 
carry on the Government (including Lord Lansdowne), they 
came to the unanimous determination to tender their resigna- 

The Queen protested against this, as exposing her and the 
Country to the greatest peril, as it was impossible to change the 
Government at this moment without deranging the whole 
external policy in diplomacy and war, and there was nobody 
to whom the reins could be confided. Lord Derby and his 
party would never have done, but now he had allied himself 
with Lord Ellenborough, who was determined to have the 
conduct of the war. . . . 

Lord Aberdeen thought yet, that on him 1 devolved the 
responsibility of replacing what he wantonly destroyed. The 
Queen insisted, however, that Lord Aberdeen should make 
one appeal to the Cabinet to stand by her, which he promised 
to do to the best of his ability, but without hope of success. 
The Cabinet will meet at twelve o'clock to-day, but at five the 
Ministers will have to announce their determination to the 
Houses of Parliament, as Mr Roebuck's Motion stands for that 
hour. ALBERT. 

Lord John Russell to Queen Victoria. 

CHESHAM PLACE, 25th January 1855. 

Lord John Russell presents his humble duty to your Majesty. 
He has received with deep regret the imputations of deserting 
the Government. 

1 I.e., Lord John Russell. 

VOL. ni 3* 


Lord John Russell, after being at the head of the Ministry 
for more than five years, and being then the leader of a great 
party, consented to serve under Lord Aberdeen, and served for 
more than a year and a half without office. 

After sacrificing his position and his reputation for two 
years, he has come to the conclusion that it would not be for 
the benefit of the country to resist Mr Roebuck's Motion. 
But it is clear that i/he enquiry he contemplates could not be 
carried on without so weakening the authority of the Govern- 
ment that it could not usefully go on. 

In these circumstances Lord John Russell has pursued the 
course which he believes to be for the public benefit. 

With the most sincere respect for Lord Aberdeen, he felt 
he could not abandon his sincere convictions in order to 
maintain the Administration in office. 

It is the cause of much pain to him that, after sacrificing 
his position in order to secure your Majesty's service from 
interruption, he should not have obtained your Majesty's 

Queen Victoria to Lord John Russell. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 25th January 1855. 

The Queen has received Lord John Russell's letter of 
to-day in explanation of his resignation. She has done full 
justice to the high-minded and disinterested manner in which 
Lord John sacrificed two years ago his position as former 
Prime Minister and as Leader of a great party, in consenting 
to serve under Lord Aberdeen, and hopes she has sufficiently 
expressed this to him at the time. He will since have found 
a further proof of her desire to do anything which could be 
agreeable to him in his position, by cheerfully agreeing to all 
the various changes of offices which he has at different times 
wished for. If Lord John will consider, however, the moment 
which he has now chosen to leave her Government, and the 
abrupt way in which his unexpected intention of agreeing in 
a vote implying censure of the Government was announced 
to her, he cannot be surprised that she could not express her 

Memorandum by Queen Victoria. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 25th January 1855. 

Lord Aberdeen arrived at six o'clock to report the result 
of the meeting of the Cabinet, which was so far satisfactory that 
they agreed upon retaining office at present for the purpose 




of meeting Mr Roebuck's Motion. They expect (most of 
them, at least) to be beat and to have to resign, but they think 
it more honourable to be driven out than to run away. They 
will meet Parliament therefore without making any changes 
in the offices. Lord Aberdeen and the Duke of Newcastle 
fancy even that they will have a chance of defeating Mr Roe- 
buck's Motion. Sir George Grey has declared, however, that, 
perfectly willing as he is not to desert his post At this moment, 
he will consider himself at liberty to resign even after success, 
as he thinks the Government has no chance of standing with 
Lord John in Opposition. The other Whigs would in that case 
very likely do the same, and the Government come to an end 
in this way ; but it is not impossible that Sir George Grey may 
be prevailed upon by the Queen to stay. Much must depend 
upon the nature of the Debate. 

Lord Aberdeen seems to have put the Queen's desire that 
the Cabinet should reconsider their former decision in the 
strongest words, which seems to have brought about the 
present result. He saw Lord John this morning who, though 
personally civil towards himself, was very much excited and 
very angry at a letter which he had received from the Queen. 
He said he would certainly vote with Mr Roebuck. The Houses 
are to be adjourned to-day, and the whole discussion comes on 
to-morrow. Lord Aberdeen brought a copy of a letter Lord 
Palmerston had written to Lord John. The Peelites in the 
Cabinet, viz. the Dukes of Newcastle and Argyll, Sir J. Graham, 
Mr Gladstone, and Mr S. Herbert, seem to be very bitter against 
Lord John, and determined to oppose him should he form a 
Government, whilst they would be willing to support a Derby 
Government. VICTORIA R. 

Lord John Eussell to Queen Victoria. 

CHESHAM PLACE, 2Gth January 1855. 

Lord John Russell presents his humble duty to your Majesty, 
and is very grateful for your Majesty's communication of 

He confesses his resignation was very abrupt, but it is the 
consequence of many previous discussions in which his advice 
had been rejected or overruled. 

Lord John Russell acknowledges the repeated instances of 
your Majesty's goodness in permitting him to leave the 
Foreign Office, and subsequently to serve without office as 
Leader of the House of Commons. These changes, however, 
were not made without due consideration. To be Leader of 
the House of Commons and Foreign Secretary is beyond any 


man's strength. To continue for a long time Leader without 
an* office becomes absurd. Lord Aberdeen at first meant his 
own continuance in office to be short, which justified the 

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria^ 

144 PICCADILLY, 2Gth January 1855. 

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty, and begs to state that Lord John Russell having 
made his statement, concluding with an announcement that 
he did not mean to vote on Mr Roebuck's Motion, and Viscount 
Palmerston having made a few remarks on that statement, 
Mr Roebuck rose to make his Motion ; but the paralytic affec- 
tion under which he has for some time laboured soon over- 
powered him, and before he had proceeded far in his speech 
he became so unwell that he was obliged to finish abruptly, 
make his Motion, and sit down. 

Mr Sidney Herbert, who was to reply to Mr Roebuck, rose 
therefore under great disadvantage, as he had to reply to a 
speech which had not been made ; but he acquitted himself 
with great ability, and made an excellent statement in ex- 
planation and defence of the conduct of the Government. 
He was followed by Mr Henry Drummond, 2 Colonel North for 
the Motion, Mr Monckton Milnes against it ; Lord Granby who, 
in supporting the Motion, praised and defended the Emperor 
of Russia ; Mr Layard, who in a speech of much animation, gave 
very strong reasons to show the great impropriety of the 
Motion, and ended by saying he should vote for it ; Sir George 
Grey, who made a spirited and excellent speech ; Mr Walpole, 
who supported the Motion and endeavoured, but fruitlessly, 
to establish a similarity between the enquiry proposed by 
Mr Roebuck and the enquiry in a Committee of the whole 
House into the conduct of the Walcheren Expedition when 
the operation was over and the Army had returned to England. 
Mr Vernon Smith declared that his confidence in the Govern- 
ment had been confined to three Members Lord Lansdowne, 
Lord John Russell, and Lord Palmerston and that it was 
greatly diminished by the retirement of Lord John Russell. 
Colonel Sibthorp, 3 Sir John Fitzgerald, and Mr Knightley * 

1 His first letter to the Queen as Leader of the House of Commons. 

2 M.P. for West Surrey. 

3 Sibthorp, whose name is almost forgotten, earned some fame as an opponent of the 
Exhibition of 1851, and remained faithful to Protection, after Lord Derby and his party 
had dropped it. His beard, his eye-glass, and his clothes were a constant subject for the 
pencil of Leech. 

* Mr (afterwards Sir) Reginald Knightley, M.P. for South Northamptonshire, 1852- 
1892. In the latter year he was created Lord Knightley of Fawsley. 

1855] THE DEBATE 77 

followed, and Mr Disraeli having said that his side of the 
House required that the Debate should be adjourned, an 
adjournment to Monday was agreed to ; but Viscount Palmer- 
ston, in consenting to the adjournment, expressed a strong hope 
that the Debate would not be protracted beyond that night. 

Viscount Palmerston regrets to say that the general aspect 
of the House was not very encouraging. 

The Earl of Aberdeen to Queen Victoria. 

LONDON, 27th January 1855. 

Lord Aberdeen presents his humble duty to your Majesty. 
It is probable that your Majesty may have heard from Lord 
Palmerston some account of the debate in the House of 
Commons last night ; but perhaps your Majesty may not 
object to learn the impressions which Lord Aberdeen has 
received on the present state of affairs both in and out of the 

There can be no doubt that Lord John Russell has injured 
his position by the course which he has pursued. His own 
friends having remained in the Cabinet, is his practical con- 
demnation. He made a very elaborate and dexterous state- 
ment ; but which, although very plausible, did not produce 
a good effect. It had been decided that he should be followed 
by Mr Gladstone, who was in full possession of the subject ; 
but at the Cabinet yesterday held before the meeting of the 
House, it was decided that Lord Palmerston should follow 
Lord John, in order to prevent the appearance of a division 
in the Cabinet between the Whig and Peelite Members. As 
Lord Palmerston was to act as Leader of the House, the sub- 
stitution of Mr Gladstone would have appeared strange. But 
the decision was unfortunate, for by all accounts the speech of 
Lord Palmerston was singularly unsuccessful. 

In the debate which followed, the impression in the House 
was strongly against the War Department ; and the indications 
which occasionally appeared of the possibility of Lord Palmer- 
ston filling that office were received with great cordiality. Sir 
George Grey made an excellent speech, and his censure must 
have been deeply felt by Lord John. 

Lord Aberdeen has waited until the Cabinet had met to-day 
before he had the honour of writing to your Majesty, in order 
that he might learn the impressions and opinions of the 
Members, especially of those who are in the House of Commons. 
All agree that if the division had taken place last night, Mr 
Roebuck's Motion would have been carried by a large majority. 
This still seems to be the prevailing opinion, but there is con- 


siderable difference. The Motion is so objectionable and so 
unconstitutional that delay is likely to be favourable to those 
who oppose it. A little reflection must produce considerable 
effect. Lord Aberdeen sees that Mr Gladstone is preparing 
for a great effort, and he will do whatever can be effected by 
reason and eloquence. 

It is said that Lord Derby shows some reluctance to accept 
the responsibility of overthrowing the Government ; but the 
part taken last night by Mr Walpole, and the notice of a Motion 
in the House of Lords by Lord Lyndhurst, would appear to 
denote a different policy. The result of the Division on 
Monday will depend on the course adopted by his friends, 
as a party. It is said that Mr Disraeli has signified a difference 
of opinion from Mr Walpole. 

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria. 

144 PICCADILLY, ZOth January 1855. 
(2 A.M.) 

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty, and begs to state that Mr Roebuck's Motion has 
been carried by 305 to 148, being a majority of 157 against 
the Government, a great number of the Liberal party voting 
in the majority. 

The debate was begun by Mr Stafford, 1 who gave a very 
interesting but painful account of the mismanagement which 
he had witnessed in the Hospitals at Scutari and Sebastopol, 
while he gave due praise to the conduct of His Royal Highness 
the Duke of Cambridge toward the men under his command, 
and related the cheering effect produced by your Majesty's 
kind letter, when read by him to the invalids in Hospital. He 
was followed by Mr Bernal Osborne, 2 who found fault with all 
the military arrangements at home, and with the system under 
which Commissions in the Army are bought and sold, but who 
declared that he should vote against the Motion. 

Mr Henley then supported the Motion, directing his attack 
chiefly against the management of the Transport Service. 

Admiral Berkeley, 3 in reply, defended the conduct of the 
Admiralty. Major Beresford supported the Motion, but 
defended Lord Raglan against the attacks of the newspapers. 
Mr. Rice, Member for Dover, opposed the Motion. Mr Miles * 

1 Augustus Stafford (formerly Stafford O'Brien), Secretary of the Admiralty in the 
Derby Ministry of 1852. 

2 Secretary of the Admiralty, who, contrary to modern practice, criticised on this 
occasion the action of his own colleagues. 

3 Maurice Frederick Fitzhardinge Berkeley, 1788-1867, M.P. for Gloucester 1831-1857. 

4 M.P. for Bristol. 


found fault with the Commissariat, and supported the Motion, 
saying that the proposed enquiry would apply a remedy to the 
evils acknowledged to exist in the Army in the Crimea ; and 
Sir Francis Baring, after ably pointing out the inconveniences 
of the proposed Committee, said he should vote against it, 
as tending to prevent those evils from being remedied. Mr 
Rich criticised the composition of the Ministry, and the con- 
duct of the war, and supported the Motion as a means of satisfy- 
ing public opinion. Sir Edward Lytton Bulwer supported the 
Motion in a speech of considerable ability, and was replied to 
by Mr Gladstone in a masterly speech, which exhausted the 
subject, and would have convinced hearers who had not made 
up their minds beforehand. 

He was followed by Mr Disraeli, who in the course of his 
speech made use of some expressions in regard to Lord John 
Russell, which drew from Lord John some short explanations 
as to the course which he had pursued. Viscount Palmerston 
then made some observations on the Motion, and, after a few 
words from Mr Muntz, 1 Mr Thomas Duncombe 2 asked Mr 
Roebuck whether, if he carried his Motion, he really meant to 
name and appoint the Committee and prosecute the enquiry, 
saying that he hoped and trusted that such was Mr Roebuck's 
intention. Mr Roebuck declared that he fully meant to do so, 
and after a short speech from Mr Roebuck, who lost the thread 
of his argument in one part of what he said, the House pro- 
ceeded to a division. 

The Conservative Party abstained, by order from their 
Chiefs, from giving the cheer of triumph which usually issues 
from a majority after a vote upon an important occasion. . . . 

Memorandum by Queen Victoria. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 3Qth January 1855. 

Lord Aberdeen arrived here at three. He came from the 
Cabinet, and tendered their unanimous resignation. Nothing 
could have been better, he said, than the feeling of the members 
towards each other. Had it not been for the incessant attempts 
of Lord John Russell to keep up Party differences, it must be 
confessed that the experiment of a coalition has succeeded 
admirably. We discussed future possibilities, and agreed 
that there remained nothing to be done but to offer the Govern- 
ment to Lord Derby, whose Party was numerically the strong- 
est, and had carried the Motion. He supposed Lord Derby 
would be prepared for it, although he must have great diffi- 

1 M.P. for Birmingham. 2 M.P. for Finsbury. 


culties, unless he took in men from other Parties, about which, 
however, nothing could be known at present. 

Lord Aberdeen means to behave more generously to Lord 
Derby than he had done to him, and felt sure that his colleagues 
would feel a desire to support the Queen's new Government. 

He said Lord Grey's plan 1 had not met with the approba- 
tion of the House of Lords. The indignation at Lord John's 
conduct on all sides was strongly on the increase. 

Lord Aberdeen was much affected at having to take leave 
of us. VICTORIA R. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Derby. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 30th January 1855. 

The Queen would wish to see Lord Derby at Buckingham 
Palace (whither she is going for a few hours) to-morrow at 
half -past eleven. 

Queen Victoria to the Duke of Newcastle. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 31st January 1855. 

The Queen has just received the Duke of Newcastle's letter. 
She readily grants him the permission he asks, 2 and seizes 
this opportunity of telling him how much she feels for him 
during this trying time, and what a high sense she shall ever 
entertain of his loyal, high-minded, and patriotic conduct, 
as well as of his unremitting exertions to serve his Sovereign 
and Country. 

Memorandum by Queen Victoria. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 31st January 1855. 

We went up to Buckingham Palace and saw Lord Derby at 
half-past eleven. The Queen informed him of the resignation 
of the Government, and of her desire that he should try to 
form a new one. She addressed herself to him as the head of 
the largest Party in the House of Commons, and which had by 
its vote chiefly contributed to the overthrow of the Govern- 
ment. Lord Derby threw off this responsibility, saying that 
there had been no communication with Mr Roebuck, but that 
his followers could not help voting when Lord John Russell 
told them on authority that there was the most ample cause 
for enquiry, and the whole country cried out for it. Moreover, 

1 For concentrating in a single department the business connected with the adminis- 
tration of the Army. 

2 The Duke, in order to refute Lord John Russell, asked leave to state what had 
passed in the Cabinet. 


the Government, in meeting the Motion, laid its chief stress 
upon its implying a want of confidence in the Government 
a confidence which they certainly did not enjoy. He owned 
that his Party was the most compact mustering about two 
hundred and eighty men but he had no men capable of 
governing the House of Commons, and he should not be able 
to present an Administration that would be accepted by the 
country unless it was strengthened by other combinations ; he 
knew that the whole country cried out for Lord Palmerston as 
the only man fit for carrying on the war with success, and he 
owned the necessity of having him in the Government, were it 
even only to satisfy the French Government, the confidence 
of which was at this moment of the greatest importance ; but 
he must say, speaking without reserve, that whatever the 
ignorant public might think, Lord Palmerston was totally 
unfit for the task. He had become very deaf as well as very 
blind, was seventy-one years old, and ... in fact, though he 
still kept up his sprightly manners of youth, it was evident 
that his day had gone by. 1 . . . Lord Derby thought, however, 
he might have the Lead of the House of Commons, which Mr 
Disraeli was ready to give up to him. For the War Depart- 
ment there were but two men both very able, but both 
liable to objections : the first was Lord Grey, who would do it 
admirably, but with whom he disagreed in general politics, and 
in this instance on the propriety of the war, which he himself 
was determined to carry on with the utmost vigour ; then 
came his peculiar views about the Amalgamation of Offices, in 
which he did not at all agree. The other was Lord Ellenborough, 
who was very able, and would certainly be very popular 
with the Army, but was very unmanageable ; yet he hoped he 
could keep him in order. It might be doubtful whether 
Lord Hardinge could go on with him at the Horse Guards. 
We agreed in the danger of Lord Grey's Army proposal, and 
had to pronounce the opinion that Lord Ellenborough was 
almost mad. This led us to a long discussion upon the merits 
of the conduct of the war, upon which he seemed to share the 
general prejudices, but on being told some of the real facts and 
difficulties of the case, owned that these, from obvious reasons, 
could not be stated by the Government in their defence, and 
said that he was aware that the chief fault lay at headquarters 
in the Crimea. Lord Raglan ought to be recalled, as well 
as his whole staff, and perhaps he could render this less painful 

l Lord Derby's judgment was not borne out by subsequent events. Lord Palmerston 
was Prime Minister when he died on the 18th of October 1865, ten years later. " The 
half-opened cabinet-box on his table, and the unfinished letter on his desk, testified that 
he was at his post to the last." Ashley's Life of Lord Palmerston, vol. ii. p. 273. 


to him by asking him to join the Cabinet, where his military 
advice would be of great value. 

To be able to meet the House of Commons, however, Lord 
Derby said he required the assistance of men like Mr 
Gladstone and Mr S. Herbert, and he was anxious to know 
whether the Queen could tell him upon what support he could 
reckon in that quarter. We told him we had reason to believe 
the Peelites would oppose a Government of Lord John Russell, 
but were inclined to support one of Lord Derby's ; whether 
they were inclined to join in office, however, appeared very 
doubtful. The Queen having laid great stress on a good 
selection for the office of Foreign Affairs, Lord Derby said he 
would have to return to Lord Malmesbury, who, he thought, 
had done well before, and had now additional experience. 

Should he not be able to obtain strength from the Peelites, he 
could not be able to form a creditable Government ; he must 
give up the task, and thought the Queen might try some other 
combinations with Lord John Russell or Lord Lansdowne, etc. 

He did not think a reconstruction of the old Government 
would be accepted by the country ; however, whatever Govern- 
ment was formed to carry on the war, should not only not be 
opposed by him, but have his cordial support, provided it 
raised no question of general constitutional importance. 

Should all attempts fail, he would be ready to come forward 
to the rescue of the country with such materials as he had, but 
it would be " a desperate attempt." 

Lord Derby returned a little before two from Lord Palmer- 
ston, to whom he had gone in the first instance. Lord Palmer- 
ston was ready to accept the Lead of the House of Commons, 
and acknowledged that the man who undertook this could not 
manage the War Department besides. He undertook to sound 
Mr Gladstone and Mr S. Herbert, but had, evidently much to 
Lord Derby's surprise, said that it must be a coalition, and not 
only the taking in of one or two persons, which does not seem 
to suit Lord Derby at all nor was he pleased at Lord Palmer- 
ston's suggestion that he ought to try, by all means, to retain 
Lord Clarendon at the Foreign Office. Lord Palmerston was 
to sound the Peelites in the afternoon, and Lord Derby is to 
report the result to the Queen this evening. VICTORIA R. 

The Earl of Derby to Queen Victoria. 

ST JAMES' SQUARE, Zlst January 1855. 
(9.30 P.M.) 

Lord Derby, with his humble duty, hastens to submit to 
your Majesty the answer which he has this moment received 


from Viscount Palmerston to the communication which he 
made to him this morning by your Majesty's command. Lord 
Derby has not yet received from Mr Sidney Herbert and Mr 
Gladstone the answers referred to in Lord Palmerston' s letter ; 
but, from the tenor of the latter, he fears there can be no doubt 
as to their purport. With respect to Lord Clarendon, Lord 
Derby is fully sensible of the advantage which might accrue 
to your Majesty's service from the continuance in office of a 
Minister of great ability, who is personally cognizant of all 
the intricate negotiations and correspondence which have 
taken place for the last two years ; and neither personally 
nor politically would he anticipate on the part of his friends, 
certainly not on his own part, any difficulty under existing 
circumstances, in co-operating with Lord Clarendon ; but the 
present political relations between Lord Clarendon and Lord 
Derby's friends are such that, except upon a special injunction 
from your Majesty, and under your Majesty's immediate 
sanction, he would not be justified in making any overtures in 
that direction. 1 Should Lord Derby receive any communica- 
tion from Mr Gladstone or Mr. Sidney Herbert before morning, 
he will send it down to your Majesty by the earliest oppor- 
tunity in the morning. Lord Derby trusts that your Majesty 
will forgive the haste in which he writes, having actually, 
at the moment of receiving Lord Palmerston's answer, written 
a letter to say that he could not longer detain your Majesty's 
messenger. Lord Derby will take no farther step until he shall 
have been honoured by your Majesty's farther commands. 

The above is humbly submitted by your Majesty's most 
dutiful Servant and Subject, DEBBY. 

Memorandum by the Prince Albert. 

1st February 1855. 

Lord Derby came down here at eleven o'clock, and brought 
with him two letters he had received from Mr Gladstone and 
Mr Sidney Herbert, who both declared their willingness to 
give Lord Derby's Government an independent support, but 
on mature consideration their impossibility to take office in 
his Administration. Lord Derby said, as to the independent 
support, it reminded him of the definition of an independent 
Member of Parliament, viz. one that could not be depended 
upon. Under the circumstances, he would not be able to form 

l Although opposed to the ordinary procedure cf party government, there were recent 
precedents for such overtures being made. When the "Whigs displaced Peel in 18-10, 
Lord John Russell attempted to include three of the outgoing Ministers in his Cabinet, and 
on the formation of the Coalition Ministry, negotiations were on foot to retain Lord 
St Leonards on the woolsack. 


such an Administration as could effectively carry on the 

He thought that Lord Palmerston had at first been willing 
to join, but it was now evident that the three letters had been 
written in concert. 1 

He was anxious to carry any message to any other statesman 
with which the Queen might wish to entrust him. This the 
Queen declined, with her best thanks. He then wanted to 
know what statement Lord Aberdeen would make to-night in 
the House, stating it to be very important that it should not 
appear that the Administration had gone from Lord Aberdeen 
through any other hands than the ones which should finally 
accept it. 

It would be well known that he had been consulted by the 
Queen, but there was no necessity for making it appear that 
he had undertaken to form an Administration. The fact was, 
that he had consulted none of his Party except Mr Disraeli, 
and that his followers would have reason to complain if they 
thought that he had put them altogether out of the question. 
We told him that we did not know what Lord Aberdeen meant 
to say, but the best thing would be on all accounts to state 
exactly the truth as it passed. 

After he had taken leave of the Queen with reiterated 
assurances of gratitude and loyalty, I had a further long con- 
versation with him, pointing out to him facts with which he 
could not be familiar, concerning our Army in the Crimea, our 
relations with our Ally, negotiations with the German Courts, 
the state of public men and the Press in this country, which 
convinced me that this country was in a crisis of the greatest 
magnitude, and the Crown in the greatest difficulties, which 
could not be successfully overcome unless political parties 
would show a little more patriotism than hitherto. They 
behaved a good deal like his independent Member of Parlia- 
ment, and tried to aggravate every little mishap in order to 
get Party advantages out of it. I attacked him personally 
upon his . . . opposition to the Foreign Enlistment Bill, and 
pointed to the fact that the French were now obtaining the 
services of that very Swiss Legion we stood so much in need of. 
His defence was a mere Parliamentary dialectic, accusing the 
clumsy way in which Ministers had introduced their Bill, but 
he promised to do what he could to relieve the difficulties of 
the country. In conclusion I showed him, under injunctions 

i Lord Palmerston wrote that, upon reflection, he had come to the conclusion that he 
would not, by joining the Government, give to it that stability which Lord Derby antici- 
pated. He, however, gave the promise of his support to any Government which would 
carry on the war with energy and vigour, and maintain the alliances which had been 


of secrecy, the letter I had received from Count Walewski, 
which showed to what a state of degradation the British Crown 
had been reduced by the efforts on all sides for Party objects 
to exalt the Emperor Napoleon, and make his will and use the 
sole standard for the English Government. 1 

Lord Derby called it the most audacious thing he had ever 
seen, adding that he had heard that Count Walewski had 
stated to somebody with reference to the Vienna Conferences : 
" What influence can a country like England pretend to 
exercise, which has no Army and no Government ? " 

I told him he was right, as every one here took pains to prove 
that we had no Army, and to bring about that the Queen 
should have no Government. 

Memorandum by the Prince Albert. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 2nd February 1855. 

Lord Lansdowne arrived late yesterday evening. The 
Queen, after having stated that Lord Derby had given up the 
task of forming a Government, asked his advice under the 
present circumstances, to which he replied that he had little 
advice to give. I interrupted that at least he could impart 
knowledge to the Queen, upon which she could form a decision. 
The first and chief question was, What was Lord John 
Russell's position ? Lord Lansdowne declared this to be the 
most difficult question of all to answer. He believed Lord 
John was not at all dissatisfied with the position he had 
assumed, and was under the belief that he could form an 
Administration capable of standing, even without the support 
of the Peelites. He (Lord Lansdowne) would certainly decline 
to have anything to do with it, as it could receive its support 
only from the extreme Radical side, which was not favourable 
to Lord John, but shrewd enough to perceive that to obtain a 
Government that would have to rest entirely upon themselves 
would be the surest mode of pushing their own views. Lord 
John, although not intending it, would blindly follow this 
bias, excusing himself with the consideration that he must look 
for support somewhere. He himself doubted, however, even 
the possibility of Lord John succeeding ; but till he was 
brought to see this no strong Government was possible. 
We asked about the Peelites, Lord Palmerston, etc. He did 
not know whether the Peelites would serve with Lord John 
Russell they certainly would not under him. There was a 

i This curious letter of the Count stated in effect that the alliance of England and 
France, and the critical circumstances of the day, made Lords Palmerston and Clarendon 
indispensable members of any Ministry that might be formed. 


strong belief, however, particularly on the part of Lord 
Clarendon, and even shared by Lord Palmerston, that without 
Lord John a stable Government could not be formed. The 
Queen asked whether they could unite under him (Lord 
Lansdowne). He replied he had neither youth nor strength 
to make an efficient Prime Minister, and although Lord John 
had often told him " If you had been in Aberdeen's place my 
position would have been quite different," he felt sure Lord 
John would soon be tired of him and impatient to see him 
gone. He thought an arrangement might be possible by which 
Lord Clarendon might be Prime Minister, Lord John go to the 
House of Lords and take the Foreign Office, and Lord Palmer- 
ston the Lead in the House of Commons. We told him 
that would spoil two efficient men. Lord Clarendon had no 
courage for Prime Minister, and Lord John had decidedly 
failed at the Foreign Office. 

Lord Lansdowne had had Lord Palmerston with him during 
the Derby negotiation, and clearly seen that at first he was not 
unwilling to join, but had more and more cooled upon it when 
he went further into the matter. Lord Derby and Lord Palmer- 
ston had had a full discussion upon Lord Grey, and discarded 
him as quite impracticable. . . . After much farther dis- 
cussion it was agreed that Lord Lansdowne should go up to 
Town this day, see first Lord Palmerston, then the Peelites, 
and lastly Lord John, and come to Buckingham Palace at 
two o'clock, prepared to give answers upon the question what 
was feasible and what not. He inclines to the belief that we 
shall have to go through the ceremony at least of entrusting 
Lord John with the formation of an Administration. 

Lord John was not without large following amongst the 
Whigs, and whatever was said about his late conduct in the 
higher circles, he believed that it is well looked upon by the 
lower classes. His expression was, that it would be found 
that the first and second class carriages in the railway train 
held opposite opinions. 

Memorandum by Queen Victoria. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 2nd February 1855. 

Lord Lansdowne arrived at two o'clock, and reported that 
he had seen all the persons intended, but he could not say 
that he saw his way more clearly. They all gave pledges 
generally to support any Government, but were full of diffi- 
culties as to their participation in one. 

Mr Gladstone would clearly not serve under Lord John 


might possibly with him if much pressed by Lord Aberdeen 
to do so. He would probably serve under Lord Palmerston. 
Mr S. Herbert expressed apprehension at the effect upon the 
prospects of peace which would be produced by Lord Palmer- 
ston' s being at the head of the Government. 

Lord John Russell would not serve under Lord Palmerston, 
and fancies he might form a Whig Administration himself, of 
which Lord Palmerston, however, must be the chief member. 
Lord Palmerston would not like to serve under Lord John 
Russell would be ready to form an Administration, which 
could not have duration, however, in his opinion, if Lord John 
Russell held aloof ! 

He found Lord John fully impressed with the fact of his 
having brought the Queen into all these difficulties, and of 
owing her what reparation he could make. Lord Palmerston 
also felt that he had some amends to make to the Queen for 
former offences. We asked Lord Lansdowne whether they 
could not be combined under a third person. He felt em- 
barrassed about the answer, having to speak of himself. 
Both expressed their willingness to serve under him but then 
he was seventy-five years old, and crippled with the gout, and 
could not possibly undertake such a task except for a few 
months, when the whole Administration would break down 
of which he did not wish to be the cause. In such a case, 
Lord John had stated to him that the man to be Leader of the 
House of Commons was Lord Palmerston, meaning himself to 
be transferred to the House of Lords, in his former office as 
President of the Council. 

Without presuming to give advice, Lord Lansdowne thought 
that under all circumstances it would do good if the Queen 
was to see Lord John Russell, and hear from himself what he 
could do. She could perfectly keep it in her power to com- 
mission whom she pleased hereafter, even if Lord John should 
declare himself willing to form a Government. 


Queen Victoria to Lord John Russell. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 2nd February 1855. 

The Queen has just seen Lord Lansdowne. As what he 
could tell her has not enabled her to see her way out of the 
difficulties in which the late proceedings in Parliament have 
placed her, she wishes to see Lord John Russell in order to 
confer with him on the subject. 


Memorandum by Queen Victoria.* 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 2nd February 1855. 

Lord John Russell came at five o'clock. 

The Queen said she wished to consult him on the present 
crisis, and hear from him how the position of Parties stood at 
this moment. He said that immediately at the meeting of 
Parliament a general desire became manifest for a modification 
of the Government ; that the Protectionists were as hostile 
to the Peelites as they had been in the year '46 ; that the old 
Whigs had with difficulty been made to support the late Gov- 
ernment ; that the dissatisfaction with the conduct of the war 
was general, and the country cried out for Lord Palmers ton 
at the War Department ; that he considered it of the greatest 
importance that Lord Clarendon should remain at the Foreign 
Office, where he had gained great reputation, and nobody could 
replace him. On the question whether Lord Palmerston would 
be supported if he formed an Administration, he said everybody 
would give a general support, but he doubted the Whigs joining 
him. He did not know what the Peelites would do, but they 
would be an essential element in the Government, particularly 
Mr Gladstone ; the best thing would be if Lord Palmerston took 
the lead of the House of Commons. A Government formed by 
Lord Lansdowne or Lord Clarendon would ensure general 
support, but Lord Lansdowne had declared that he would not 
undertake it for more than three months, and then the Govern- 
ment would break down again ; and we objected that Lord 
Clarendon ought, as he had said, not to be moved from the 
Foreign Office, to which he agreed. He himself would prefer 
to sit on the Fourth Bench and support the Government. The 
Queen asked him whether he thought he could form a Govern- 
ment. After having taken some time for reflection, he said 
he thought he could, 2 but he thought it difficult without th 
Peelites, and next to impossible without Lord Palmerston ; 
he did not know whether both or either would serve with or 
under him ; he would offer Lord Palmerston the choice between 
the Lead of the House of Commons and the War Department 
and in case he should choose the former, ask himself to be 
removed to the House of Lords ; he had been Leader of the 

1 This Memorandum, though signed by the Queen, was written by the Prince. 

2 Colonel Phipps thus describes Lord Aberdeen's comment on Lord John Russell's 
words : " I told Lord Aberdeen that Lord John had said that he thought that he could 
form a Government. He laughed very much, and said : ' I am not at all surprised at 
that, but whom will he get to serve under him ? Has he at present any idea of the 
extent of the feeling that exists against him ? ' I replied that I thought not, that it was 
difficult for anybody to tell him, but that I thought that it was right that he should know 
what the feeling was, and that he would soon discover it when he began to ask people 
to join his Government. Lord Aberdeen said that was very true. . . ." 


House of Commons since '34, and as far as being able to support 
his title, he was enabled to do so, as his brother, the Duke of 
Bedford, intended to leave an estate of 5000 a year to his son. 
The Queen asked him whether he would do the same under the 
Administration of Lord Lansdowne, for instance ; he begged 
to be allowed time to consider that. He acknowledged to the 
Queen on her remark that he had contributed to bring her into 
the present difficulties that he was bound to do what he could 
to help her out of them ; and on the Queen's question what he 
could do, he answered that depended very much on what the 
Queen would wish him to do. 

She commissioned him finally to meet Lord Lansdowne and 
Lord Palmerston, to consult together, and to let Lord Lans- 
downe bring her the result of their deliberation this evening, 
so that she might see a little more clearly where the prospect of 
a strong Government lay. 

We had some further discussion upon Mr Roebuck's Com- 
mittee, which he thinks will not be as inconvenient as all his 
friends suppose. It would meet with great difficulties, and 
might be precluded from drawing up a report. On Lord Grey's 
Motion 1 and the Army question he declared that he held to his 
Memorandum of the 22nd January which the Duke of New- 
castle had read to the House of Lords, and acknowledged the 
necessity of maintaining the office of the Commander-in-Chief , 
although subordinate to the Secretary of State, and retaining 
the Army Patronage distinct from the Political Patronage of 
the Government. 

I omitted to mention that Lord John, in answer to the ques- 
tion whether Lord Clarendon would serve under Lord Palmer- 
ston, answered that he could not at all say whether he would ; 
he had mentioned to him the possibility, when Lord Clarendon 
drew up and made a long face. VICTOBIA R. 

Queen Victoria to Lord John Russell. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 2nd February 1855. 

The Queen has just seen Lord Lansdowne after his return 
from his conference with Lord John Russell and Lord Palmer- 
ston. As moments are precious, and the time is rolling on 
without the various consultations which Lord Lansdowne 
has had the kindness and patience to hold with the various 
persons composing the Queen's late Government having led 
to any positive result, she feels that she ought to entrust some 
one of them with the distinct commission to attempt the 

i See ante, p. 80, note 1. 


formation of a Government. The Queen addresses herself in 
this instance to Lord John Russell, as the person who may be 
considered to have contributed to the vote of the House of 
Commons, which displaced her late Government, and hopes 
that he will be able to present her such a Government as will 
give a fair promise successfully to overcome the great difficulties 
in which the country is placed. It would give her particular 
satisfaction if Lord Palmerston could join in this formation. 

Lord John Russell to Queen Victoria. 

CHESHAM PLACE, 2nd February 1855. 

Lord John Russell presents his humble duty to your Majesty. 
He acknowledges that having contributed to the vote of the 
House of Commons, which displaced your Majesty's late 
Government (although the decision would in any case have 
probably been unfavourable), he is bound to attempt the 
formation of a Government. 

As your Majesty has now entrusted him with this honourable 
task, and desired that Lord Palmerston should join in it, Lord 
John Russell will immediately communicate with Lord Palmer- 
ston, and do his utmost to form a Government which will give 
a fair promise to overcome the difficulties by which the country 
is surrounded. 

Lord John Russell considers Lord Clarendon's co-operation 
in this task as absolutely essential. 

Memorandum by the Prince Albert. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 3rd February 1855. 

Lord John Russell arrived at half -past one o'clock, and 
stated that he had to report some progress and some obstacles. 
He had been to Lord Palmerston, and had a long and very free 
discussion with him. He (Lord Palmerston) told him that 
although the general voice of the public had pointed him out as 
the person who ought to form a Government, he had no pre- 
tensions himself or personal views, and was quite ready to 
accept the lead of the House of Commons under Lord John in 
the House of Lords ; but that he thought that, if the Queen 
would see him, now that she had seen Lord Derby, Lord John, 
and Lord Lansdowne, it would remove any impression that 
there were personal objections to him entertained by the Queen, 
which would much facilitate the position of the new Govern- 
ment. They then discussed the whole question of offices, 
agreed that Lord Panmure would be the best person for the 
War Department ; that Lord Grey could not be asked to join, 


as his views on the Foreign Policy differed so much from theirs, 
and he had always been an intractable colleague ; that if Mr 
Gladstone could not be prevailed upon to join, Mr Labouchere, 1 
although an infinitely weaker appointment, might be Chancel- 
lor of the Exchequer, and Sir F. Baring replace Sir J. Graham, 
if he could not be got to stay. 

Lord John then saw Mr S. Herbert, who declared to him 
that it was impossible for any of the Peelites to join his Govern- 
ment, connected as they were with Lord Aberdeen and the 
Duke of Newcastle, but that they would infinitely prefer a 
Government of Lord John's to one of Lord Palmerston, whose 
views on Foreign Policy, uncontrolled by Lord Aberdeen, they 
sincerely dreaded. 

Lord John then went to Lord Clarendon, and was surprised 
to find that he could not make up his mind to remain at the 
Foreign Office under his Government. Lord John thought 
that the expression of a wish on the part of the Queen would go 
a great way to reconcile him. His objections were that he had 
always received the handsomest support from the Peelites, and 
thought the Government too weak without their administrative 

Lord John had seen none of his own friends, such as Sir G. 
Grey, Sir C. Wood, Lord Lansdowne, and Lord Granville, but 
had not the smallest doubt that they would cordially co-operate 
with him. 

Lord John is to come again at a quarter before six o'clock. 
The Queen has appointed Lord Palmerston for three o'clock, 
and Lord Clarendon at four. 

Memorandum by Queen Victoria. 2 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 3rd February 1855. 

In the Audience which the Queen has just granted to Lord 
Palmerston, he thanked her for the message which she had sent 
him through Lord John Russell, and declared his readiness to 
serve her in any way he could under the present difficulties. 
He had preferred the lead of the House of Commons to the War 
Department, having to make a choice between two duties 
which no man could perform together. 

In answer to a question from the Queen, he said he hoped 
that the present irritation in the Whig party would subside, 
and that he would be able to complete a Government. He re- 
gretted that the Peelites thought it impossible for them to join, 

1 He had been President of the Board of Trade in the former administration of Lord 
John Russell. 

2 This Memorandum, though signed by the Queen, was written by the Prince. 


which would make it very difficult for Lord John. He had just 
heard from Count Walewski that Lord Clarendon was very 
much disinclined to remain at the Foreign Office under Lord 
John. They were to have a meeting at Lord John's at five, 
where he hoped to find that he had waived his objections ; 
but he must say that if Lord Clarendon persisted he must him- 
self withdraw, as he had indeed made it a condition with Lord 
John. The Queen asked him whether, if this attempt failed, 
she could reckon upon his services in any other combination. 
His answer was that it was better not to answer for more than 
one question at a time ; we must now suppose that this will 

What he stated with reference to the Army question and the 
Committee of the House of Commons was perfectly satisfactory. 

Lord Clarendon, whom we saw at four o'clock, complained 
very much of the unfairness of Lord John in making him per- 
sonally answerable for impeding the progress of Lord John's 
Government. The fact was that his opinion was only that of 
every other member of the late Government, and of the public 
at large ; which could be heard and seen by anybody who chose 
to listen or to read. So impossible had it appeared to the 
public that Lord John should be blind enough to consider his 
being able to form a Government feasible, that it was generally 
supposed that he had been urged to do so by the Queen, in 
order to escape the necessity of Lord Palmerston. He ac- 
knowledged that the Queen's decision in that respect had been 
the perfectly correct and constitutional one, and perhaps 
necessary to clear the way ; but he hoped that for her own sake, 
and to prevent false impressions taking root in the public mind, 
the Queen would give afterwards Lord Palmerston his fair turn 
also, though he could not say that he would be able to form 
an Administration. The Queen said that this was her inten- 
tion, that she never had expected that Lord John would be 
able to form one, but that it was necessary that his eyes should 
be opened ; Lord Clarendon only regretted the precious time 
that was lost. 

He must really say that he thought he could do no good in 
joining Lord John ; his Government would be " a stillborn 
Government," which " the country would tread under foot the 
first day," composed as it would be of the same men who had 
been bankrupt in 1852, minus the two best men in it, viz. Lord 
Lansdowne and Lord Grey, and the head of it ruined in public 
opinion. If he were even to stay at the Foreign Office, his 
language to foreign countries would lose all its weight from being 
known not to rest upon the public opinion of England, and all 


this would become much worse when it became known that from 
the first day of Lord John's entering into Lord Aberdeen's 
Government, he had only had one idea, viz. that of tripping 
him up, expel the Peelites, and place himself at the head of an 
exclusive Whig Ministry. Besides, he felt that the conduct of 
all his colleagues had been most straightforward and honourable 
towards him, and he was not prepared " to step over their dead 
bodies to the man who had killed them." The attempt of 
Lord John ought not to succeed if public morality were to be 
upheld in this country. He had avoided Lord John ever since 
his retirement, but he would have now to speak out to him, as 
when he was asked to embark his honour he had a right to 
count the cost. 

Lord Lansdowne had no intention to go to Lord John's 
meeting, as he had originally taken leave of public life, and had 
only entered the Coalition Government in order to facilitate 
its cohesion ; among a Government of pure Whigs he was not 
wanted, for there was no danger of their not cohering. Sir C. 
Wood declared he had no business to be where Lord Lansdowne 
refused to go in. 

He thought Lord Palmerston would have equal difficulty in 
forming an administration, but when that had failed some solid 
combination would become possible. 

Lord Lansdowne had declared that he could not place himself 
at the head for more than three months, but that was a long 
time in these days. VICTORIA R. 

Memorandum by Queen Victoria. 

Lord John Russell returned at six o'clock from his meeting, 
much put out and disturbed. He said he had nothing good 
to report. Mr Gladstone, whom he had seen, had declined to 
act with him, saying that the country did not wish for Coalitions 
at this moment. Sir J. Graham, whom he had visited, had 
informed him that the feeling against him was very strong just 
now, precluding support in Parliament ; he gave him credit 
for good intentions, but said the whole difficulty was owing 
to what he termed his (Lord John's) rashness. He felt he could 
not separate from Lord Aberdeen, and had no confidence in the 
views of Foreign Affairs of Lord Palmerston. 

He had then seen Sir George Grey, who told him he had no 
idea that a Government of Lord John's could stand at this 
moment ; the country wanted Lord Palmerston either as War 
Minister or as Prime Minister. He must hesitate to engage 
himself in Lord John's Government, which, separated from the 
Peelites, would find no favour. Lord Clarendon had reiterated 


his objections, saying always that this must be gone through, 
and something new would come up at the end, when all these 
attempts had failed. He could not understand what this should 
\)e. Did Lord Clarendon think of himself as the head of the 
new combination ? I asked what Lord Lansdowne had said. 
He answered he had a letter from him, which was not very 
agreeable either. He read it to us. It was to the purport 
that as Lord John had been commissioned to form an Adminis- 
tration, and he did not intend to join it, he thought it better 
not to come to his house in order to avoid misconstruction. 
Lord John wound up, saying that he had asked Lord Clarendon 
and Sir G. Grey to reflect further, and to give their final answer 
to-morrow morning. The loss of the Peelites would be a great 
blow to him, which might be overcome, however ; but if his 
own particular friends, like Lord Clarendon and Sir G. Grey, 
deserted him, he felt that he could go on no farther, and he 
hoped the Queen would feel that he had done all he could. 


Memorandum by Queen Victoria. 1 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 3rd February 1855. 

Lord Lansdowne arrived at half-past nine in the evening, 
and met our question whether he had anything satisfactory to 
report, with the remark that he saw his way less than ever, and 
that matters had rather gone backward since he had been here 
in the morning. He had been in the afternoon at Sir James 
Graham's bedside, who had had a consultation with Mr Glad- 
stone, and declared to him that the country was tired of Coali- 
tions, and wanted a united Cabinet ; that they (the Peelites) 
could not possibly serve under Lord John or even with him 
after what had happened ; that he felt the strongest objections 
to serving under Lord Palmerston. They were one and all for 
the vigorous prosecution of the war, but in order to attain a 
speedy peace. Lord Palmerston was known to entertain ulterior 
views, on which he was secretly agreed with the Emperor of the 
French ; and when it came to the question of negotiations, the 
Government was sure to break up on a ground most dangerous 
to the country. Lord Lansdowne could but agree in all this, 
and added he had been tempted to feel his pulse to know how 
much it had gone down since he had been with Sir James. 

The meeting between Lord Palmerston and Lord John had 
just taken place in his presence. They had discussed every- 
thing most openly, but being both very guarded to say nothing 

1 This Memorandum, though signed by the Queen, was written by the Prince. 


which could lead the other to believe that the one would serve 
under the other. He confessed everything was darker now 
than before. They both seemed to wish to form a Govern- 
ment, but he could really not advise the Queen what to do under 
the circumstances. 

I summed up that the Queen appeared to me reduced to the 
necessity of now entrusting one of the two with a positive 
commission. It was very important that it should not appear 
that the Queen had any personal objection to Lord Palmerston ; 
on the other hand, under such doubtful circumstances, it would 
be safest for the Queen to follow that course which was clearly 
the most constitutional, and this was, after having failed with 
Lord Derby, to go to Lord John, who was the other party to the 
destruction of the late Government. The Queen might write 
such a letter to Lord John as would record the political reasons 
which led to her determination. Lord Lansdowne highly 
approved of this, and suggested the addition of an expression 
of the Queen's hope of seeing Lord Palmerston associated in 
that formation. 

I drew up the annexed draft which Lord Lansdowne read 
over and entirely approved. 

He has no idea that Lord John will succeed in his task, but 
thinks it a necessary course to go through, and most wholesome 
to Lord John to have his eyes opened to his own position, of 
which he verily believed he was not the least aware. 


Queen Victoria to the Earl of Aberdeen. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 1th February 1855. 

The Queen quite approves of the pension to Sir G. Grey, which 
he has fully earned, but would wish Lord Aberdeen well to 
consider the exact moment at which to offer it to him, as Sir 
George is so very delicate in his feelings of honour. Lord John 
Russell will probably have to give up the task of forming an 
Administration on account of Sir George's declining to join 
him. If the pension were offered to him by Lord Aberdeen 
during the progress of negotiations, he could not help feeling, 
she thinks, exceedingly embarrassed. 

Lord John Eussell to Queen Victoria. 

CHESHAM PLACE, 4th February 1855. 

Lord John Russell presents his humble duty to your Majesty. 
He saw last night Sir George Grey, who is extremely averse 
to the formation of a purely Whig Government at this time. 


Since that time he has received the two notes enclosed : one 
from Lord Palmerston, the other early this morning from Lord 
Clarendon. 1 

It only remains for him to acknowledge your Majesty's great 
kindness, and to resign into your Majesty's hands the task your 
Majesty was pleased to confide to him. 

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 4</ February 1855. 

Lord John Russell having just informed the Queen that he 
was obliged to resign the task which the Queen confided to him, 
she addresses herself to Lord Palmerston to ask him whether 
he can undertake to form an Administration which will com- 
mand the confidence of Parliament and efficiently conduct 
public affairs in this momentous crisis ? Should he think that 
he is able to do so, the Queen commissions him to undertake the 
task. She does not send for him, having fully discussed with 
him yesterday the state of public affairs, and in order to save 
time. The Queen hopes to receive an answer from Lord Pal- 
merston as soon as possible, as upon this her own movements 
will depend. '> 

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria. 

144 PICCADILLY, <ith February 1855. 

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty, and with a deep sense of the importance of the com- 
mission which your Majesty asks whether he will undertake, 

i Lord Palmerston wrote : 

" 144 PICCADILLY, 3rd February 1855. 

" MY DEAR JOHN KUSSELL, I certainly inferred from what Clarendon said this 
afternoon at your house, that he had pretty well made up his mind to a negative answer, 
and I could only say to you that which I said to Derby when he asked me to join him, 
that I should be very unwilling, in the present state of our Foreign relations, to belong to 
any Government in which the management of our Foreign Affairs did not remain in 
Clarendon's hands. 

" George Grey, by your account, seems to tend to the same conclusion as Clarendon, and 
I think, from what fell from Molesworth, whom I sat next to at the Speaker's dinner 
this evening, that he would not be disposed to accept any offer that you might make him. 
Yours sincerely, PALMERSTON." 

Lord Clarendon wrote : 

" GROSVENOR CRESCENT, 3rd February 1855. 

" MY DEAR LORD JOHN, The more I reflect upon the subject, the more I feel con- 
vinced that such a Government as you propose to form would not satisfy the public nor 
command the confidence of the Country. 

" To yourself personally I am sure it would be most injurious if you attempted to 
carry on the Government with inadequate means at this moment of national danger. 

" On public and on private grounds, therefore, I should wish to take no part in an 
Administration that cannot in my opinion be either strong or permanent. Tours 
sincerely, CLARENDON." 

1855] WHIG SUPPORT 97 

he hastens to acknowledge the gracious communication which 
he has just had the honour to receive from your Majesty. 

Viscount Palmerston has reason to think that he can under- 
take with a fair prospect of success to form an Administration 
which will command the confidence of Parliament and effectually 
conduct public affairs in the present momentous crisis, and as 
your Majesty has been graciously pleased to say that if such is 
his opinion, your Majesty authorises him to proceed immedi- 
ately to the accomplishment of the task, he will at once take 
steps for the purpose ; and he trusts that he may be able in 
the course of to-morrow to report to your Majesty whether his 
present expectations are in the way to be realised. 

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria. 

PICCADILLY, 5th February 1855. 
(5 P.M.) 

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty, and has had the honour to receive your Majesty's 
communication of to-day ; and in accordance with your 
Majesty's desire, he begs to report the result of his pro- 
ceedings up to the present time. 

The Marquis of Lansdowne, the Lord Chancellor, the Earl of 
Clarendon, the Earl Granville, Sir George Grey, Sir Charles 
Wood, have expressed their willingness to be members of the 
Administration which Viscount Palmerston is endeavouring to 
form, provided it can be constructed upon a basis sufficiently 
broad to give a fair prospect of duration. 

Mr Gladstone, Mr Sidney Herbert, and the Duke of Argyll 
have declined chiefly on the ground of personal and political 
attachment to the Earl of Aberdeen, against whom, as well as 
against the Duke of Newcastle, they say they consider the 
vote of the House of Commons of last week as having been 
levelled. Viscount Palmerston has not yet been able to ascer- 
tain the decision of Sir James Graham, but it will probably 
be the same as that of his three colleagues. 

Viscount Palmerston hopes, nevertheless, to be able to sub- 
mit for your Majesty's consideration such a list as may meet 
with your Majesty's approval, and he will have the honour of 
reporting further to your Majesty to-morrow. 

Memorandum by Queen Victoria. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 6th February 1855. 

We came to Town to hear the result of negotiations, and saw 
Lord Palmerston at one 'clock. He said there were circum- 

VOL. Ill 4 


stances which prevented him from submitting a List of the 
Cabinet, but would at all events be able to do so in the after- 

Lords Lansdowne, Clarendon, Granville, Sir G. Grey, Sir C. 
Wood, Sir William Molesworth, and the Chancellor had con- 
sented to serve unconditionally having withdrawn their 
former conditions in consequence of the very general opinion 
expressed out of doors that the country could not much longer 
be left without a Government. He heard this had also made 
an impression upon the Peelites, who had refused to join. He 
submitted their letters (declining) to the Queen, of which copies 
are here annexed. They had been written after consultation 
with Sir J. Graham, but Lord Aberdeen and the Duke of New- 
castle having heard of it, have since exerted themselves strongly 
to prevail upon them to change their opinion, and it was still 
possible that they would do so. Lord Clarendon had suggested 
that if Lord Aberdeen himself was invited to join the Govern- 
ment, and could be induced to do so, this would obviate all 
difficulty. He had in consequence asked Lord Lansdowne to 
see Lord Aberdeen on the subject, as his joining could only be 
agreeable to him. Many of the Peelites not in the late Cabinet 
had strongly disapproved of the decision taken by Mr Gladstone 
and friends, and offered their services, amongst others Lord 
Canning, Lord Elcho, 1 and Mr Cardwell. 

Lord Palmerston had been with Lord John Russell yesterday, 
and had had a very long conversation with him in a most 
friendly tone ; he asked Lord John whether he would follow 
out the proposal which he had lately made himself, and take 
the lead in the House of Lords as President of the Council. He 
declined, however, saying he preferred to stay out of office and 
to remain in the House of Commons, which Lord Palmerston 
obviously much regretted. They went, however, together all 
over the offices and their best distribution. He would recom- 
mend Lord Panmure for the War Department and Mr Layard 
as Under Secretary. . . . Lord Palmerston was appointed to 
report further progress at five o'clock. VICTORIA R. 

The Prince Albert to the Earl of Aberdeen. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 6th February 1855. 

MY DEAB LORD ABERDEEN, It would be a great relief to 
the Queen if you were to agree to a proposal which we under- 
stand is being made to you to join the new Government, and 
by so doing to induce also Mr Gladstone, Mr S. Herbert, and Sir 
James Graham to do the same. Ever yours truly, ALBERT. 

i Now Earl of Wemyss. 


The Earl of Aberdeen to the Prince Albert. 

LONDON, 6th February 1855. 

SIB, I am sanguine in believing that the great object of the 
union of my friends with the new Government may be attained 
without the painful sacrifice to which your Royal Highness 
refers. Contrary to my advice, they yesterday declined to 
remain in the Cabinet, but I have renewed the subject to-day, 
and they have finally decided to place themselves in my hands. 
This rendered other explanations necessary, before I could 
undertake so great a responsibility. When I shall have the 
honour of seeing your Royal Highness, I will, with your Royal 
Highness' s permission, communicate what has passed, so far as 
I am concerned. 

I venture to enclose the copy of a letter which I addressed to 
Mr Herbert this morning, in answer to one received from him 
late last night, in which he expressed his doubts of the propriety 
of the first decision at which they had arrived. I have the 
honour to be, Sir, your Royal Highness's most humble and 
devoted Servant, ABERDEEN. 

[Enclosure Copy. ] 

The Earl of Aberdeen to Mr S. Herbert. 

ARGYLL HOUSE, 6th February 1855. 

MY DEAR HERBERT, I received your letter too late to answer it 
.astfnight. In fact, I had gone to bed. 

You say that you are in a great difficulty as to the course you ought 
to take. I am in none whatever. 

I gave you my decided opinion yesterday that you ought to con- 
tinue in Palmerston's Administration ; and I endeavoured to support 
this opinion by the very arguments which you repeat in your letter 
to me. Surely this letter ought to have been addressed to Gladstone 
and Graham, and not to me. I fully concur in thinking that you 
came to a wrong conclusion yesterday, and I would fain hope that it 
would still be reversed. 

When you sent to me yesterday to attend your meeting, I certainly 
hoped it was with the intention of following my advice. 

Your reluctance to continue in Palmerston's Cabinet is chiefly 
founded on the apprehension that he will pursue a warlike policy 
beyond reasonable bounds. I have already told you that I have had 
some explanations with him on the terms of peace, with which I am 
satisfied. But whatever may be his inclinations, you ought to rely on 
the weight of your own character and opinions in the Cabinet. I am 
persuaded that the sentiments of the great majority of the Members oi' 
the Cabinet are similar to your own, and that you may fairly expect 
reason and sound policy to prevail in the question of peace and war. 

But above all I have recently had some very full conversations 


with Clarendon on the subject, and I am entirely satisfied with his 
disposition and intentions. I am sanguine in the belief that he will 
give effect to his present views. 

A perseverance in the refusal to join Palmerston will produce very 
serious effects, and will never be attributed to its true cause. The 
public feeling will be strongly pronounced against you, and you will 
greatly suffer in reputation, if you persevere at such a moment as this 
in refusing to continue in the Cabinet. 

In addition to the public necessity, I think you owe much to our 
late Whig colleagues, who behaved so nobly and generously towards 
us after Lord John's resignation. They have some right to expect 
this sacrifice. 

Although your arguments do not apply to me, for I yesterday 
adopted them all, you conclude your letter by pressing me to enter 
the Cabinet. Now there is really no sense in this, and I cannot 
imagine how you can seriously propose it. You would expose me 
to a gratuitous indignity, to which no one ought to expect me to 
submit. I say gratuitous, because I could not be of the slightest 
use in such a situation for the purpose you require. 

I can retire with perfect equanimity from the Government in con- 
sequence of the vote of the House of Commons ; but to be stigmatised 
as the Head and tolerated as the subordinate member I cannot 

If at any future time my presence should be required in a Cabinet, 
I should feel no objection to accept any office, or to enter it without 
office. But to be the Head of a Cabinet to-day, and to become a 
subordinate member of the very same Cabinet to-morrow, would be 
a degradation to which I could never submit, that I would rather 
die than do so and indeed the sense of it would go far to kill me. 

If you tell me that your retaining your present offices, without the 
slightest sacrifice, but on the contrary with the approbation of all, is 
in any degree to depend on my taking such a course, I can only say 
that, as friends, I cannot believe it possible that you should be guilty 
of such wanton cruelty without any national object. 

I must, then, again earnestly exhort you to reconsider the decision 
of yesterday, and to continue to form part of the Government. I 
will do anything in my power to facilitate this. If you like, I will 

S) to Palmerston and promote any explanation between him and 
ladstone on the subject of peace and war. Or I will tell him that 
you have yielded to my strong recommendation. In short, I am 
ready to do anything in my power. 

I wish you to show this letter to Gladstone and to Graham, to 
whom, as you wiH see, it is addressed as much as to yourself. 

I hope to meet you this morning, and Gladstone will also come to 
the Admiralty. Yours, etc. ABERDEEN. 

The Prince Albert to the Earl of Aberdeen. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 6th February 1855. 

MY DEAR LORD ABERDEEN, We are just returning to Wind- 
sor. Lord Palmerston kissed hands after having announced 


that his Peelite colleagues also have agreed to keep their offices. 
The Queen is thus relieved from great anxiety and difficulty, 
and feels that she owes much to your kind and disinterested 
assistance. I can quite understand what you say in the letter 
which I return. You must make allowances also, however, 
for the wishes of your friends not to be separated from you. 
You will not be annoyed by further proposals from here. 

To-morrow we shall have an opportunity of further conver- 
sation with you upon the state of affairs. Believe me always, 
yours, etc., ALBERT 

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 6^ February 1855. 

MY DEAREST UNCLE, We are here again for a few hours in 
order to try and facilitate the formation of a Government, which 
seemed almost hopeless. 

Van de Weyer will have informed you of the successive fail- 
ures of Lord Derby and Lord John . . . and of Lord Palmerston 
being now charged with the formation of a Government ! I had 
no other alternative. The Whigs will join with him, and I 
have got hopes, also the Peelites, which would be very impor- 
tant, and would tend to allay the alarm which his name will, 
I fear, produce abroad. 

I will leave this letter open to the last moment in the 
hope of giving you some decisive news before we return to 
Windsor. . . . 

I am a good deal worried and knocked up by all that has 
passed ; my nerves, which have suffered very severely this last 
year, have not been improved by what has passed during this 
trying fortnight for it will be a fortnight to-morrow that the 
beginning of the mischief began. . . . 

Six o'clock p.m. One word to say that Lord Palmerston 
has just kissed hands as Prime Minister. ALL the Peelites 
except poor dear Aberdeen (whom I am deeply grieved to lose) 
and the Duke of Newcastle, remain. It is entirely Aberdeen's 
doing, and very patriotic and handsome of him. In haste, ever 
your devoted Niece, VICTORIA R. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Aberdeen. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 7th February 1855. 

Though the Queen hopes to see Lord Aberdeen at six, she 
seizes the opportunity of approving the appointment of t*he 


Hon. and Rev. A. Douglas 1 to the living of St Olave's, South- 
wark, to say what she hardly dares to do verbally without 
fearing to give way to her feelings ; she wishes to say what a 
pang it is for her to separate from so kind and dear and valued 
a friend as Lord Aberdeen has ever been to her since she has 
known him. The day he became Prime Minister was a very 
happy one for her ; and throughout his Ministry he has ever 
been the kindest and wisest adviser one to whom she could 
apply on all and trifling occasions even. This she is sure he 
will still ever be. But the thought of losing him as her First 
Adviser in her Government is very painful. The pain is to a 
certain extent lessened by the knowledge of all he has done to 
further the formation of this Government, in so noble, loyal, 
and disinterested a manner, and by his friends retaining their 
posts, which is a great security against possible dangers. The 
Queen is sure that the Prince and herself may ever rely on his 
valuable support and advice in all times of difficulty, and she 
now concludes with the expression of her warmest thanks for 
all his kindness and devotion, as well as of her unalterable 
friendship and esteem for him, and with every wish for his 
health and happiness. 

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria. 

PICCADILLY, 7th February 1855. 

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty, and begs to state that a difficulty has arisen in regard 
to the reconstruction of the Administration, which your 
Majesty might perhaps be able to assist in removing. It is 
considered by the Members of the proposed Cabinet to be a 
matter of great importance that Lord Lansdowne should not 
only be a Member of the Cabinet, but that he should also be 
the Organ of the Government in the House of Lords. 

Viscount Palmerston pressed this upon Lord Lansdowne 
yesterday afternoon, and was under the impression that Lord 
Lansdowne had consented to be so acknowledged, with the 
understanding that Lord Granville, as President of the Council, 
should relieve him from the pressure of the daily business of 
the House, while Lord Clarendon would take the burthen of 
Foreign Office discussions, and that thus the ordinary duties 
of Leader of the House of Lords would be performed by 
others, while Lord Lansdowne would still be the directing 
chief, who would give a character and tone to the body. But 
Viscount Palmerston learns this morning from Lord Crranville 

i The Hon. Arthur Gascoigne Douglas (1827-1905), son of the nineteenth Earl of 
Morton ; Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney, 1883-1905. 


and Lord Bessborough that Lord Lansdowne does not so 
understand the matter, and is unwilling to assume the ostensible 
Leadership, even upon the above-mentioned arrangement, and 
that he wishes Lord Granville to be the Leader in the House of 

Lord Granville, however, with reason urges that there are 
many members of the House of Lords who would show to Lord 
Lansdowne, from his long standing and high political posi- 
tion, a deference which they would not show towards Lord 
Granville, so much younger a man. If Lord Lansdowne 
were in Town, Viscount Palmerston would have gone to him 
strongly to entreat him to be the person to announce in the 
House of Lords the formation of a Ministry, and to continue to 
be the organ of the Government in that House, at least till 
Easter, and upon such matters and occasions as might require 
the weight of his authority ; but if your Majesty were to view 
the matter in the same light in which it has presented itself to 
Viscount Palmerston, to the Chancellor, to Lord Clarendon, 
to Lord Granville and others, and if your Majesty should think 
fit to express an opinion upon it to Lord Lansdowne, such an 
opinion would no doubt have great weight with Lord Lans- 

Viscount Palmerston submits a list of the proposed Cabinet. 
Until Sir George Grey returns to Town this afternoon from 
Portsmouth, whither he went yesterday evening to take leave 
of his son, who has a commission in the Rifles, 1 and was to 
embark this morning for the Crimea, Viscount Palmerston will 
not know whether he prefers the Colonial Office or the Home 
Office. Whichever of the two he chooses, Mr Herbert will 
take the other. Viscount Palmerston does not submit to your 
Majesty the name of any person for the office of Secretary at 
War, as he proposes that that office shall merge in the office 
of Secretary of State for the War Department, and Viscount 
Palmerston suspends for the present any recommendation to 
your Majesty for the office of Chancellor of the Duchy of 
Lancaster, as that office may be made available for giving 
strength either in the House of Lords or in the House of Com- 
mons according to circumstances. 


First Lord of Treasury . . . Viscount PALMERSTON. 

Organ of the Government or ~\ -., . , T 

Leader of the House of Lords} Mar l ms of LANSDOWXE. 

Lord Chancellor .... Lord CRANWORTH. 

i George Henry Grey, afterwards Lieut.-Colonel of the Northumberland Militia, and 
Captain in the Grenadier Guards : father of the present Sir Edward Grey, M.P. He 
predeceased his father in 1874. 


President of the Council . . Earl GRANVILLE. 

Privy Seal .... Duke of ARGYLL. 

Foreign Affairs .... Earl of CLARENDON. 

War Department .... Lord PANMURE. 

Bome Office 

Department . . . ,.l. 

Admiralty .;:; . . . Sir JAMES GRAHAM. 

Chancellor of Exchequer . . Mr GLADSTONE. 

India Board . Sir CHARLES WOOD. 

Board of Works vT .,. , t ,,,,,..- Sir WILLIAM MOLESWORTH. 


Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 1th February 1855. 

The Queen has just received Lord Palmerston' s letter with 
the List of the Government, which she approves. She entirely 
agrees with him in the view he takes with respect to Lord 
Lansdowne' s position in the House of Lords, and will write 
to him on the subject. From what he said, however, the 
Queen would hope that he would not be disinclined to make 
the announcement of the Government as well as to take the 
lead on all occasions of great importance. 1 

The Queen approves that the office of Secretary at War 
should remain open at present ; but as regards the question 
itself of these two offices, she reserves her judgment till the 
subject is submitted to her in a definite form. 

The Earl of Clarendon to Queen Victoria. 

10th February 1855. 

Lord Clarendon presents his humble duty to your Majesty, 
and humbly begs to say that, with the permission of Lord 
Palmerston, and at the urgent recommendation of Lord 
Aberdeen and Lord Lansdowne, he has made to Lord John 
Russell the proposal to act as our negotiator at Vienna, which 
your Majesty was pleased to sanction on Wednesday night. 2 

1 Lord Lansdowne consented, on particular occasions only, to represent the Govern- 
ment, but claimed to be himself the judge of the expediency or necessity of his doing so. 
The ministerial life of this doyen of the Whig Party spanned half a century, for he had, as 
Lord Henry Petty, been Chancellor of the Exchequer in the ministry of " All the Talents " 
in 1806-1807. Lord Granville now assumed the Liberal leadership in the Lords, which, 
as Lord Fitzmaurice points out, he held, with a brief exception of three years, till his 
death in 1891. 

2 la pursuance of the negotiations referred to (ante, p. 65), a conference of the Powers 
was held at Vienna. Lord John's view of the attitude which he hoped Great Britain 
would take up is clearly stated in his letter of the llth to Lord Clarendon, printed in 
Walpole's Life of Lord John Russell, vol. ii. p. 242. He favoured the admission of Prussia 
to the Conference. 


Lord Clarendon thinks, that whether the negotiations end 
in peace or are suddenly to be broken off, no man is so likely 
as Lord John to be approved by the Country for whichever 
course of proceeding he may adopt, and it will be a great 
advantage that the negotiator himself should be able to 
vindicate his own conduct in Parliament. 

Lord Clarendon has this evening received a very kind and 
friendly answer from Lord John, who is disposed to accept, 
but desires another day to consider the proposal. 

As our relations with the United States are of the utmost 
importance at this moment, and as they have rather improved 
of late, Lord Clarendon humbly hopes he may be excused if 
he ventures to suggest to your Majesty the expediency of 
inviting Mr Buchanan 1 to Windsor. 

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria. 

PICCADILLY, 10th February 1855. 

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty, and begs to state that having been very kindly 
received at Paris by the Emperor of the French, he thought it 
would be useful to write to the Emperor on the formation of 
the present Government, and he submits a copy of the letter 2 
which he addressed to the Emperor. 

The Emperor, when Viscount Palmerston took leave of him, 
signified his intention of writing occasionally to Viscount 
Palmerston, and that is the reason why Viscount Palmerston 
adverts to such communications in his letter. 

Viscount Palmerston has just had the honour to receive your 
Majesty's communication of this day, and will not fail to bear 
in mind the suggestions which it contains. 

l American Minister to Great Britain, afterwards President of the United States. 
2 Viscount Palmerston to the Emperor of the French. 

LONDRES, 8 F eerier 1855. 

SIRE, Appele par la Heine ma Souveraine au poste que maintenant j'occupe, je 
m'empresse de satisfaire au besoin que je sens d'exprimer a votre Majeste la grande 
satisfaction que j'eprouve ii me trouver en rapport plus direct avec le Gouvernement de 
votre Majeste. 

L' Alliance qui unit si heureusement la France et 1' Angleterre et qui promet des resultate 
Bi avantageux pour toute 1' Europe, prend son origine dans la loyaute, la franchise, et la 
sagacite de votre Majeste ; et votre Majeste pourra tou jours compter sur la loyaute et la 
franchise du Gouvernement Anglais. Et si votre Majeste avait jamais une communica- 
tion i nous faire snr des idees non encore assez mnries pour etre le sujet de Depeches 
Officielles, je m'estimerais tres honore en recevant une telle communication de la part de 
votre Majeste. 

^Nous aliens mettre un pen d'ordre a notre Camp devant Sevastopol, et en cela nous 
tacherons d'imiter le bel exemple qui nous est montre par le Camp Francais. A quelque 
chose cependant malheur est bon, et le mauvais etat de PArmee Anglaise a donne aux 
braves et genereux Francais 1'occasion de prodiguer a leurs freres d'armes des soins, qui 
ont excit6 la plus vive reconnaissance taut en Angleterre qu'& Balaclava. J'ai 1'honneur 
d'etre, Sire, etc. etc., PALMERSTON. 

VOL. Ill 4* 

Memorandum by the Prince Albert. 

WINDSOR CA.STLE, llth February 1855. 

This letter gave us great uneasiness. . . . The sort of 
private correspondence which Lord Palmerston means to 
establish with the Emperor Napoleon is a novel and uncon- 
stitutional practice. If carried on behind the back of the 
Sovereign, it makes her Minister the Privy Councillor of a 
foreign Sovereign at the head of her affairs. How can the 
Foreign Secretary and Ambassador at Paris, the legitimate 
organs of communication, carry on their business, if everything 
has been privately preconcerted between the Emperor and the 
English Prime Minister ? What control can the Cabinet hope to 
exercise on the Foreign Affairs under these circumstances ? . . 

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, llth February 1855. 

The Queen thanks Lord Palmerston for his letter of the 10th, 
and for communicating to her the letter which he had ad- 
dressed upon the 8th to the Emperor of the French on the 
formation of the present Government, the copy of which the 
Queen herewith returns. 

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria. 

PICCADILLY, l&th February 1855. 
(Friday night.) 

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty, and begs to state that after he had made his state- 
ment this afternoon, a conversation of some length took place, 
in which Mr Disraeli, Mr Roebuck, Mr Thomas Duncombe, 
and several other Members took part, the subject of discussion 
being whether Mr Roebuck's Committee should or should not 
be appointed. 

Viscount Palmerston is concerned to say that it was not only 
his own impression but the opinion of a great number of persons 
with whom he communicated in the course of the evening, 
including the Speaker, that the appointment of the Committee 
will be carried by a very great majority, perhaps scarcely less 
great than that by which the original Motion was affirmed ; 
and it was also the opinion of good judges that a refusal to 
grant an enquiry would not be a good ground on which to dis- 
solve Parliament and appeal to the Country. The general 
opinion was that the best way of meeting the Motion for 
naming the Committee which Mr Roebuck has fixed for next 


Thursday, would be to move some instruction to the Com- 
mittee directing or limiting the range of its enquiry. This Is 
a matter, however, which will be well considered at the meeting 
of the Cabinet to-morrow. . . . 

The reason alleged for the determination of Members to 
vote for Mr Roebuck's Committee is the general desire through- 
out the Country that an enquiry should be instituted to ascer- 
tain the causes of the sufferings of your Majesty's troops in the 

Queen Victoria to the King of Prussia. 


BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 20th February 1855. 

DEAREST BROTHER, I must not let Lord John Russell visit 
Berlin without personally recommending him to your Majesty 
an honour which he deserves in a high degree, as a states- 
man of wide outlook, well-informed, and moderate. At the 
same time I may be allowed to repeat my conviction, which I 
have expressed several times already, that it appears to me 
impossible to obtain peace so long as Prussia continues in- 
disposed to maintain, in case of necessity by force of arms, the 
principles publicly expressed in concert with the belligerent 
Powers and Austria. 

Much blood, very much blood, has already been shed. 
Honour and justice force the belligerent Powers to make every 
sacrifice in continually defending those principles to the 
utmost. Whether diplomacy will succeed in saving Prussia 
from taking an active share in this defence that remains the 
secret of the future, which the King of kings alone possesses ! 

Albert presents his homage to your Majesty, and I beg to be 
most cordially remembered, and remain as ever, my dear 
Brother, your Majesty's faithful Servant and Friend, 


Memorandum by the Prince Albert. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 21st February 1855. 

I have just seen Mr Gladstone, who received my box so late 
that I did not wish to detain him more than a few minutes, 
as the Cabinet was waiting for him. I told him, however, the 
substance of Lord Palmerston's letter, and of the Queen's 
answer, the wisdom of which, he said, nobody could doubt for 
a moment, and added that the choice lying only between many 
evils, I hoped he and his friends would not strive to obtain an 
absolute good, and thereby lose the Queen the services of an 
efficient Government. He begged that I should rest assured 


that the first and primary consideration which would guide 
their determination would be the position of the Crown in 
these critical circumstances. He had had no opportunity of 
consulting these last days either Mr S. Herbert or Sir James 
Graham. But for himself he felt the greatest difficulty in 
letting the House of Commons succeed in what he must con- 
sider a most unconstitutional, most presumptuous, and most 
dangerous course, after which it would be impossible for the 
Executive ever to oppose again the most absurd and pre- 
posterous demands for enquiry. 1 

I asked, " But can you stop it ? " 

He answered : I believe Lord Palmerston made a mistake 
in not grappling with it from the first, and using all the power 
the Crown had entrusted to him, even ostentatiously, for the 
purpose. Now it might be most difficult but it ought not 
to pass without a solemn protest on the part of the men who 
were not connected with the Government, and should not be 
supposed to have any other than the interests of the Country 
at heart. A Government was powerless in resisting such an 
encroachment of the House, where the whole Opposition, from 
personal motives, and the supporters of Government from fear 
of their constituents, were bent upon carrying it. Such a 
protest, however, might form a rallying-point upon which 
future resistance might be based, and the Country, now in- 
toxicated by agitation, might come to its senses. 

As to the strength of the Government, he believed it had 
very little at this moment in the House, and that such would 
be the case with any Government Lord Palmerston could form, 
he had foretold him, when Lord Derby had made him the offer 
to join an Administration of his forming. At this moment the 
secession of the Peelites would rather strengthen the Govern- 
ment than otherwise, as, from their connection with Lord 
Aberdeen, they had been decried in the Country with him, 
and the Whigs looked upon them with all the personal feelings 
of men deprived of their offices by them. 

He agreed with me that in the present disruption of Parties, 
the difficulty of obtaining any strong Government consists, 
not in the paucity of men, but in the over-supply of Right 
Honourable gentlemen produced by the many attempts to 
form a Government on a more extended base. There were 
now at least three Ministers for each office, from which the two 
excluded were always cried up as superior to the one in power. 
He said this could not be amended until we got back to two 
Parties each of them capable of presenting to the Queen an 
efficient Administration. Now the one Party did not support 
i See post, p. 109, note 1. 


its Chief from personal rivalry and the other, from the very 
feeling of its own incapacity, became reckless as to the course 
of its political actions. 

He concluded by saying he felt it right to reserve his final 
determination till the last moment at which it would become 
necessary. ALBERT. 

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria. 

DOWNING STREET, 2lst February 1855. 

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty, and feels extreme regret in having to state to your 
Majesty that Sir James Graham, Mr Gladstone, and Mr Sidney 
Herbert announced at the Cabinet Meeting to-day their deter- 
mination to retire from the Government in consequence of 
their inability to consent to the nomination of Mr Roebuck's 
Committee. 1 No other Member of the Government has as yet 
intimated any intention to retire. Viscount Palmerston will 
assemble the remaining Members of the Government to- 
morrow at twelve to take into consideration the steps to be 
taken for supplying the places of the retiring Members. 2 

An endeavour has been made to induce Mr Roebuck to post- 
pone the appointment of the Committee till Monday, but he 
will not consent to delay it beyond to-morrow, and he will 
insert in the votes to-night, to be printed to-morrow morning 
(in accordance with the rules of the House), the proposed list 
of names which have been settled between the Government 
and Mr Roebuck, and which seem to be unobjectionable, all 
things considered. . . . 

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 27th February 1855. 

MY DEAREST UNCLE, Since I last wrote to you, we have 
again had much trouble, as Van de Weyer will have informed 

1 The retirement of the Peelites in a body from Lord Palmerston's Ministry is a curious 
instance of the tenacity of Party ties, since the prosecution of the enquiry into the con- 
duct of the war affected the Whig as much as the Peelite section of the Aberdeen Cabinet. 
In reference to their reason for resignation (viz. that the investigation was a dangerous 
breach of a great constitutional principle, and that similar enquiries could never thence- 
forward be refused), see Parker's Sir James Graham, vol. ii. pp. 268-272. 

The secession of the Peelites, however, did not make the Ministry a Whig Government. 
The last Whig Administration was that which left office early in 1852. Had Lord John 
Russell succeeded in his attempt on the present occasion, the Whig party might have 
endured eo nomine; but Palmerston had, notwithstanding Cobden's distrust, been 
popular with the Radicals, and henceforward his supporters must be known as the Liberal 

2 Sir Charles Wood became First Lord of the Admiralty (Mr. Vernon Smith succeeding 
him at the Board of Control), Sir George Lewis succeeded Mr Gladstone at the Exchequer, 
and the Colonial Office was offered to and accepted by Lord John Russell, who was at 
the moment in Paris on his way to attend the Vienna Conference. 


you. We have lost our three best men certainly from the 
purest and best of motives but the result is unfortunate. 
Altogether, affairs are very unsettled and very unsatisfactory. 
The good people here are really a little mad, but I am certain it 
will right itself ; one must only not give way to the nonsense 
and absurdity one hears. 

Lord John's return to office under Lord Palmerston is very 
extraordinary ! * I hope he may do good in his mission ; he is 
most anxious for it. 

Many thanks for your kind letter of the 23rd. The frost has 
left us, which personally I regret, as it agrees so well with me ; 
but I believe it was very necessary on account of the great 
distress which was prevalent, so many people being thrown 
out of employment. 

The Emperor's meditated voyage 2 though natural in him 
to wish I think most alarming ; in fact, I don't know how 
things are to go on without him, independent of the great 
danger he exposes himself to besides. I own it makes one 
tremble, for his life is of such immense importance. I still hope 
that he may be deterred from it, but Walewski was in a great 
state about it. 

On Thursday we saw twenty-six of the wounded Coldstream 
Guards, and on Friday thirty-four of the Scotch Fusileers. A 
most interesting and touching sight such fine men, and so 
brave and patient ! so ready to go back and "beat them again." 
A great many of them, I am glad to say, will be able to remain 
in the Service. Those who have lost their limbs cannot, of 
course. There were two poor boys of nineteen and twenty 
the one had lost his leg, quite high up, by the bursting of a shell 
in the trenches, and the other his poor arm so shot that it is 
perfectly useless. Both had smooth girls' faces ; these were 
in the Coldstream, who certainly look the worst. In the Scotch 
Fusileers, there were also two very young men the one shot 
through the cheek, the other through the skull but both 
recovered ! Among the Grenadiers there is one very sad 
object, shot dreadfully, a ball having gone in through the cheek 

1 For twenty years Lord John Russell had been Leader of the Whig Party in the 
House, and Lord Palmerston subordinate to him. 

2 The Emperor had announced his intention of going to the Crimea, and assuming 
the conduct of the war. The project was most unfavourably regarded by the Queen and 
ttie Prince, by Lord Palmerston, and by the Emperor's own 'advisers. But the intention, 
which bad been carefully matured, was arrived at in full loyalty to the Alliance with 
this country, and had to be tactfully met. Accordingly, it was arranged that when 
Napoleon was at the Camp in Boulogne in March, Lord Clarendon should visit him there, 
and discuss the question with him. Eventually, the Foreign Secretary persuaded the 
Emperor to relinquish, or at any rate defer, his expedition ; a memorandum of what 
passed on the occasion was drawn up by the Prince from the narration of Lord 
Clarendon, and printed by Sir Theodore Martin. (Life of the Prince Consort, vol. iii. 
p. 231.) 

1855] DEATH OF THE CZAR 111 

and behind the nose and eye and out through the other side ! 
He is shockingly disfigured, but is recovered. I feel so much 
for them, and am so fond of my dear soldiers so proud of them ! 
We could not have avoided sending the Guards ; it would have 
been their ruin if they had not gone. . . . 

I must now conclude. Ever your devoted Niece, 


Queen Victoria to the Earl of Clarendon. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 1st March 1855. 

The Queen thanks Lord Clarendon for his letter received this 
evening, and will return the enclosures to-morrow. 

The Queen gathers from what she has read that the 
Emperor is bent upon going, and that nothing in the 
shape of remonstrance or argument will turn him from his 

Should the Emperor's journey take place, Lord Cowley's 
accompanying him appears to the Queen in all respects a most 
useful step, and the Queen gives accordingly her permission for 
him to go. 

The Emperor's taking the management of the whole Cam- 
paign, as well as the command of our Forces, entirely into his 
own hands, involves so many considerations that it may be 
worth considering whether we ought not previously to come to 
a more direct and comprehensive understanding with him, such 
as full and verbal discussion would alone afford to which, in 
some shape or other, his present stay at Boulogne might afford 
some facilities. 

From Sir Ealph Abercromby. 1 

THE HAGUE. 2nd March 1855. 
(Received 3.45 P.M.) 

The Emperor Nicholas died this morning at 1 A.M. of Pul- 
monic Apoplexy, after an attack of Influenza. 2 

1 Who had married the sister of Lady John Russell. 

2 Nothing had been known publicly of the Czar's illness, and the startling news of his 
death caused a sensation in England of tragedy rather than of joy. Mr Kinglake has 
vividly depicted the feelings of agony and mortification with which the news of the 
earlier Russian reverses had been received by Nicholas. On the 1st of March, he received 
the full account of the disaster at Eupatoria, after which he became delirious, and died 
on the following day. He had stated, in referring to the horrors of that Crimean winter, 
that Russia had still two Generals on whom she could rely : Generals Janvier and Fevrier ; 
and Leech, with matchless art, now made his famous cartoon " General Fevrier turned 
traitor," depicting Death, in the uniform of a Russian officer, laying his bony hand on 
the Emperor's heart. 


Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria. 

HOUSE OF COMMONS, 2nd March 1855. 

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty. . . . 

The death of the Emperor of Russia may or may not produce 
important changes in the state of affairs. It is probable that 
the Grand Duke Hereditary will succeed quietly, notwith- 
standing the notion that a doubt would be started whether he, 
as son of the Grand Duke Nicholas, would not be superseded by 
his younger brother born son of the Czar. 1 It is possible that 
the new Emperor may revert to that peaceful policy which he 
was understood to advocate in the beginning of these transac- 
tions, but it is possible, on the other hand, that he may feel 
bound to follow out the policy of his father, and may be im- 
pelled by the headstrong ambit ion of his brother Constantino. At 
all events, this change at Petersburg should not for the present 
slacken the proceedings and the arrangements of the Allies. 

The House of Commons has been engaged in discussing Mr 
Roebuck's proposal that the Committee of Enquiry should be 
a secret one. This proposal was made by the majority of the 
Committee on the ground that they anticipated a difficulty in 
conducting their enquiries without trenching on the delicate 
and dangerous ground of questioning the proceedings of the 
French. The proposal was objected to by Lord Seymour 2 
and Mr Ellice, members of the Committee, by Sir James 
Graham as unjust towards the Duke of Newcastle, and others 
whose conduct ought to be enquired into with all the safe- 
guards which publicity secures for justice, and not before a 
Secret Tribunal in the nature of an Inquisition. The general 
sense of the House was against secrecy, and Viscount Palmer- 
ston expressed an opinion adverse to it, on the ground that it 
could not be enforced because the Committee could not gag 
the witnesses, and that the character of secrecy would excite 
suspicion and disappoint public expectation. Sir John Paking- 
ton, a member of the Committee, was for secrecy, Mr Disraeli 
spoke against it, and the Motion has been withdrawn. 

Queen Victoria to tJie Princess of Prussia. 


BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 4th March 1855. 

DEAR AUGUSTA, The astounding news of the death of your 
poor uncle the Emperor Nicholas reached us the day before 

1 The eldest son, the Grand Duke Alexander (1818-1881), succeeded a3 Czar 
Alexander II. 

2 Lord Seymour (afterwards Duke of Somerset) drafted the Report of the Committee. 


yesterday at four o'clock. A few hours previously we had 
learnt that his condition was hopeless. The news is sudden and 
most unexpected, and we are naturally very anxious to learn 
details. His departure from life at the present moment cannot 
but make a particularly strong impression, and what the con- 
sequences of it may be the All-knowing One alone can foresee. 
Although the poor Emperor has died as our enemy, I have not 
forgotten former and more happy times, and no one has more 
than I regretted that he himself evoked this sad war. 1 To 
you I must address my request to express to the poor Empress, 
as well as to the family, my heartfelt condolence. I cannot do 
it officially, but you, my beloved friend, you will surely be able 
to convey it to your sister-in-law as well as to the present young 
Emperor in a manner which shall not compromise me. I have 
a deep, heartfelt desire to express this. To your dear, honoured 
mother convey, pray, my condolence on the death of her 
brother. . 

Queen Victoria to Lord Panmure. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 5th March 1855. 

The Queen is very anxious to bring before Lord Panmure the 
subject which she mentioned to him the other night, viz. that 
of Hospitals for our sick and wounded soldiers. This is abso- 
lutely necessary, and now is the moment to have them built, 
for no doubt there would be no difficulty in obtaining the 
money requisite for this purpose, from the strong feeling now 
existing in the public mind for improvements of all kinds con- 
nected with the Army and the well-being and comfort of the 

Nothing can exceed the attention paid to these poor men in 
the Barracks at Chatham (or rather more Fort Pitt and Bromp- 
ton), and they are in that respect very comfortable ; but the 
buildings are bad the wards more like prisons than hospitals, 
with the windows so high that no one can look out of them ; 
and the generality of the wards are small rooms, with hardly 
space for you to walk between the beds. There is no dining- 
room or hall, so that the poor men must have their dinners in 
the same room in which they sleep, and in which some may be 
dying, and at any rate many suffering, while others are at their 
meals. The proposition of having hulks prepared for their 
reception will do very well at first, but it would not, the Queen 
thinks, do for any length of time. A hulk is a very gloomy 

l The Queen records, in the Life of the Prince Consort, that she entertained a sincere 
respect for the Emperor personally, and received the news of his death with regret (voL 
iii. p. 225, note). 


place, and these poor men require their spirits to be cheered 
as much as their physical sufferings to be attended to. 
The Queen is particularly anxious on this subject, which is, 
he may truly say, constantly in her thoughts, as is every- 
thing connected with her beloved troops, who have fought 
so bravely and borne so heroically all their sufferings and 

The Queen hopes before long to visit all the Hospitals at 
Portsmouth, and to see in what state they are. 

When will the medals be ready for distribution ? 

The Marquis of Dalhousie to Queen Victoria. 

OOTACAJlUND, March 1855. 

The Governor-General presents his most humble duty to 
your Majesty ; and in obedience to the command, which your 
Majesty was pleased to lay upon him, that he should keep your 
Majesty acquainted with the course of public events in India, 
he has the honour to inform your Majesty that he has now felt 
it to be his duty to request the President of the Board of Control 
to solicit for him your Majesty's permission to retire from 
the office of Governor-General of India about the close of the 
present year. 

The Governor-General begs permission respectfully to re- 
present, that in January next, he will have held his present 
office for eight years ; that his health during the last few 
months has seriously failed him ; and that although he believes 
that the invigorating air of these hills will enable him to dis- 
charge all his duties efficiently during this season, yet he is 
conscious that the effects of an Indian climate have laid such a 
hold upon him that by the close of the present year he will be 
wholly unfit any longer to serve your Majesty. 

Lord Dalhousie, therefore, humbly trusts that your Majesty 
will graciously permit him to resign the great office which he 
holds before he ceases to command the strength which is 
needed to sustain it. He has the honour to subscribe himself, 
your Majesty's most obedient, most humble and devoted 
Subject and Servant, DALHOUSIE. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Clarendon. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 14th March 1855. 

The Queen returns the letter and Despatches from Vienna. 
They don't alter her opinion as to our demands. Every con- 
cession in form and wording ought to be made which could 


save Russian amour-propre ; but this ought in no way to trench 
upon the substance of our demands, to which Austria must feel 
herself bound. 1 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Clarendon. 

OSBORNE, IMh March 1855. 

The Queen has read with the greatest interest Lord Cowley's 
three reports. The changeableness of the French views are 
most perplexing, although they have hitherto not prevented a 
steady course from being followed in the end. Lord Cowley 
seems to have been a little off his guard when he took the pro- 
posal of our taking Sinope as a second Malta or Gibraltar, for 
a mere act of generosity and confidence towards us. We must 
be careful not to break down ourselves the barrier of the 
" abnegation clause " of our original treaty. 2 The Austrian 
proposal can hardly be serious, for to require 1,200,000 men 
before going to war is almost ridiculous. 

The Queen read with much concern the two simultaneous 
proposals from the King of Prussia's simultaneous Plenipoten- 
tiaries both inadmissible, in her opinion. A very civil answer 
would appear to the Queen as the best, to the effect that, as 
Prussia was evidently not now in a mood to resume her position 
amongst the great Powers with the responsibilities attaching 
to it, we could not hope to arrive at any satisfactory result by 
the present negotiations, but shall be ready to treat Prussia 
with the same regard with which we have always done, when she 
shall have something tangible to propose. 

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston. 

OSBORNE, IQth March 1855. 

With regard to the Expedition to the Baltic 3 the Queen 
concurs in believing it probable that we shall have to confine 
ourselves to a blockade, but this should be with the certainty 
of its being done effectually and free from any danger to the 
squadron, from a sudden start of the Russian fleet. Twenty 
sail of the Line (to which add five French) would be a sufficient 
force if supported by the necessary complement of frigates, 
corvettes, and gunboats, etc., etc. ; alone, they would be useless 
from their draught of water, and if twenty ships only are meant 

1 As has already been stated, the " Four Points " were the basis of the negotiations 
at Vienna ; the third alone, which the Allies and Austria had defined as intended to 
terminate Russian preponderance in the Black Sea, caused difficulty. 

2 I.e. the formal renunciation by the Allies of any scheme of territorial acquisition. 

3 The expedition was commanded by Rear-Admiral Richard Dundas. About the 
same time Vice-Admiral Sir James Dundas retired from the Mediterranean Command, 
in favour of Sir Edmund Lyons. 


(not sail of the Line), the force would seem wholly inadequate. 
The Queen would therefore wish, before giving her sanction 
to the proposed plan of campaign, to have a complete list sub- 
mitted to her of what it is intended to constitute the Baltic 
Fleet. 1 We ought likewise not to leave ourselves destitute 
of any Reserve at home, which the uncertain contingencies of 
another year's \^ar may call upon at any moment. 

The Queen regrets Lord Shaftesbury's declining office, and 
approves of Lord Elgin's selection in his place. 2 

She thanks Lord Palmerston for the clear and comprehensive 
explanation of Sir George Lewis's Stamp Duties Bill, 3 and 
approves of Lord Palmerston's proposal for the adjournment 
of Parliament for the Easter holidays. 

Queen Victoria to Lord Panmure. 

OSBORNE, 22nd Mar-.h 1855. 

The other day, when the Queen spoke to Lord Panmure on 
the subject of the distribution of the Medal for the Crimean 
Campaign amongst the Officers, and those who are in this 
country, no decision was come to as to how this should be done. 
The Queen has since thought that the value of this Medal would 
be greatly enhanced if she were personally to deliver it to the 
officers and a certain number of men (selected for that purpose). 
The valour displayed by our troops, as well as the sufferings 
they have endured, have never been surpassed perhaps hardly 
equalled ; and as the Queen has been a witness of what they 
have gone through, having visited them in their hospitals, she 
would like to be able personally to give them the reward they 
have earned so well, and will value so much. It will likewise 
have a very beneficial effect, the Queen doubts not, on the 
recruiting. The manner in which it should be done, and the de- 
tails connected with the execution of this intention of hers, the 
Queen will settle with Lord Panmure, when she sees him in Town. 

Will the Medals now be soon ready ? 

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 17th April 1855. 

DEAREST UNCLE, Your kindness will, I know, excuse any 
description of all that has passed, and is passing, and I leave 

1 The allied fleet comprised 23 line-of-battle ships, 31 frigates and corvettes, 29 smaller 
steamers and gunboats, and 18 other craft. 

2 As Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster ; Mr Matthew Talbot Baines was ultimately 

3 Imposing a penny stamp upon bankers' cheques, if drawn within fifteen miles of the 
place where they were payable. 


it to Charles. The impression is very favourable. 1 There is 
great fascination in the quiet, frank manner of the Emperor, 
and she is very pleasing, very graceful, and very unaffected, 
but very delicate. She is certainly very pretty and very un- 
common-looking. The Emperor spoke very amiably of you. 
The reception by the public was immensely enthusiastic. I 
must end here. Ever your devoted Niece, VICTORIA R. 

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 


DEAREST UNCLE, ... I have not a moment to myself, 
being of course entirely occupied with our Imperial guests, 
with whom I am much pleased, and who behave really with 
the greatest tact. 2 The Investiture went off very well, and 
to-day (we came from Windsor) the enthusiasm of the thou- 
sands who received him in the City was immense. He is much 
pleased. Since the time of my Coronation, with the excep- 
tion of the opening of the great Exhibition, I don't remember 
anything like it. To-night we go in state to the Opera. In 
haste, ever your devoted Niece, VICTORIA R. 

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 2th April 1855. 

MY DEAREST UNCLE, Many thanks for your kind letter of 
the 19th and 20th, by which I am glad to see that you were 
well. Our great visit is past, like a brilliant and most success- 
ful dream, but I think the effect on the visitors will be a good 
and lasting one ; they saw in our reception, and in that of the 
whole Nation, nothing put on, but a warm, hearty welcome 
to a faithful and steady Ally. I think also that for Belgium 
this visit will be very useful, for it will increase the friendly 
feelings of the Emperor towards my dear Uncle, and towards 
a country in which England takes so deep an interest. 

1 The Emperor and Empress of the French arrived on the 16th of April , on a visit to 
England. They were enthusiastically received both at Dover (notwithstanding a dense 
fog, which endangered the safety of the Imperial yacht) and on their progress from the 
South-Eastern terminus to Paddington. In passing King Street, the Emperor was 
observed to indicate his former residence to the Empress. 

2 A review of the Household troops in Windsor Park was held on the 17th, and a ball 
was given at the Castle in the evening. A Council of War on the 18th was attended by 
the Prince, the Emperor, and some of their Ministers ; in the afternoon the Queen invested 
the Emperor with the Garter. On the following day the Emperor received an address at 
Windsor from the Corporation of London, and lunched at the Guildhall ; the Queen and 
Prince and their guests paid a State visit to Her Majesty's Theatre in the evening to hear 
Fidelia. On the 20th the party, with brilliant ceremonial, visited the Crystal Palace at 
Sydenham, and were enthusiastically received by an immense multitude ; another 
important Council, relative to the future conduct of the war, was held in the evening. 


The negotiations are broken off, and Austria has been 
called upon to act according to the Treaty of the 2nd December. 
She intends, I believe, to make some proposal, but we know 
nothing positive as yet. In the meantime I fear the Emperor 
(I mean Napoleon) will go to the Crimea, which makes one 
anxious. . . . Ever your devoted Niece, VICTORIA R. 

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 25th April 1855. 

The Queen has read the letter of Lady to Lady Palmer- 
ston, and now returns it to Lord Palmerston. 

She has to observe that it has been with her an invariable 
rule never to take upon herself the office of sitting in judgment 
upon accusations or reports against private character. No 
person therefore can have any reason to suppose that she will 
by marked neglect or manner appear to pronounce a verdict 
upon matters in which she is not the proper Court of Appeal. 

The Emperor of the French to Queen Victoria. 

PALAIS DES TUTLERIES, le 25 Avril 1855. 

MADAME ET BONNE SCEUR, A Paris depuis trois jours, je 
suis encore aupres de votre Majeste par la pensee, et mon 
premier besoin est de Lui redire combien est profonde 1'im- 
pression que m'a laissee son accueil si plein de grace et d'affec- 
tueuse bonte. La politique nous a rapproches d'abord, mais 
aujourd'hui qu'il m'a et6 permis de connaitre personnellement 
votre Majest6 c'est une vive et respectueuse sympathie qui 
forme desormais le veritable lien qui m' attache a elle. II est 
impossible en effet de vivre quelques jours dans votre intimite 
sans subir le charme qui s' attache a 1' image de la grandeur et 
du bonheur de la famille la plus unie. Votre Majeste m'a 
aussi bien touche par ses prevenances delicates envers 1'Im- 
peratrice ; car rien ne fait plus de plaisir que de voir la per- 
sonne qu'on aime devenir 1'objet d' aussi flatteuses attentions. 

Je prie votre Majeste d'exprimer au Prince Albert les 
sentiments sinceres que m'inspirent sa franc he ami tie, son 
esprit eleve et la droiture de son jugement. 

J'ai rencontre a mon retour a Paris bien des difficultes 
diplomatiques et bien d'autres intervenants au sujet de mon 
voyage en Crimee. Je dirai en confidence a votre Majeste que 
ma resolution de voyage s'en trouve presque ebranlee. En 
France tous ceux qui possedent sont bien peu courageux ! 

Votre Majeste voudra bien me rappeler au souvenir de sa 

1855] THE QUEEN'S REPLY 119 

charmante famille et me permettre de Lui renouveler 1' assu- 
rance de ma respectueuse amitie et de mon tendre attachement. 
De votre Majeste, le bon Frere, NAPOLEON. 

Queen Victoria to the Emperor of the French. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, le 27 Avril 1855. 

SIRE ET MON CHER FRKRE, Votre Majeste vient de m'ecrire 
une bien bonne et affectueuse lettre que j'ai re$ue hier et qui 
m'a vivement touchee. Vous dites, Sire, que vos pensees sont 
encore aupres de nous ; je puis Vous assurer que c'est bien 
reciproque de notre part et que nous ne cessons de repasser en 
revue et de parler de ces beaux jours que nous avons eu le 
bonheur de passer avec Vous et 1'Imperatrice et qui se sont 
malheureusement ecoules si vite. Nous sommes profonde- 
ment touches de la maniere dont votre Majeste parle de nous 
et de notre famille, et je me plais a voir dans les sentiments que 
vous nous temoignez un gage precieux de plus pour la con- 
tinuation de ces relations si heureusement et si fermement 
etablies entre nos deux pays. 

Permettez que j'ajoute encore, Sire, combien de prix j 'at- 
tache a 1'entiere franchise avec laquelle Vous ne manquez 
d'agir envers nous en toute occasion et a laquelle Vous nous trou- 
verez toujours prets a r^pondre, bien convaincus que c'est le 
moyen le plus sur pour eloigner tout sujet de complication et 
de mesentendu entre nos deux Gouvernements vis-a-vis des 
graves difficultes que nous avons a surmonter ensemble. 

Depuis le depart de votre Majeste les complications diplo- 
matiques ont augmente bien peniblement et la position est 
assurement de venue bien difficile mais le Ciel n'abandonnera 
pas ceux qui n'ont d'autre but que le bien du genre humain. 

J'avoue que la nouvelle de la possibilite de 1' abandon de 
votre voyage en Crimee m'a bien tranquillisee parce qu'il y 
avait bien des causes d'alarmes en vous voyant partir si loin 
et expose a tant de dangers. Mais bien que 1' absence de votre 
Majeste en Crimee soit toujours une grande perte pour les 
operations vigoureuses dont nous sommes convenus, j'espere 
que leur execution n'en sera pas moins vivement poussee par 
nos deux Gouvernements. 

Le Prince me charge de vous offrir ses plus affectueux 
hommages et nos enf ants qui sont bien flattes de votre gracieux 
souvenir, et qui parlent beaucoup de votre visite, se mettent 
a vos pieds. 

Avec tous les sentiments de sincere amitie et de haute 
estime, je me dis, Sire et cher Frere, de V.M.I, la bien bonne 


Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria* 

PICCADILLY, 26th April 1855. 

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty, and begs to state that the Members of the Cabinet 
who met yesterday evening at the Chancellor's were of opinion 
that the Austrian proposal adopted by M. Drouyn de Lhuys, 
even with his pretended modification, could not be described 
more accurately than in the concise terms of H.R.H. the. 
Prince Albert, namely, that instead of making to cease the 
preponderance of Russia in the Black Sea, it would perpetuate 
and legalise that preponderance, and that instead of establish- 
ing a secure and permanent Peace, it would only establish a 
prospective case for war. Such a proposal therefore your 
Majesty's Advisers could not recommend your Majesty to 
adopt ; but as the step to be taken seems rather to be to make 
such a proposal to Austria than to answer such a proposal 
which Austria has not formally made, and as M. Drouyn's 
telegraphic despatch stated that he thought that Lord John 
Russell would recommend such an arrangement to his colleagues, 
the Cabinet were of opinion that the best course would be 
simply to take no step at all until Lord John Russell's return, 
which may be expected to-morrow or next day, especially as 
Lord Clarendon had already, by telegraphic message of yester- 
day, intimated to the French Government that such an ar- 
rangement as that proposed by M. Drouyn, and which would 
sanction a Russian Fleet in the Black Sea to any amount short 
by one ship of the number existing in 1853, could not be 
agreed to by the British Government. Such an arrangement 
would, in the opinion of Viscount Palmerston, be alike danger- 
ous and dishonourable ; and as to the accompanying alliance 
with Austria for the future defence of Turkey and for making 
war with Russia, if she were to raise her Black Sea Fleet up to 
the amount of 1 853, what reason is there to believe that Austria, 
who shrinks from war with Russia now that the Army of 

l It had long become evident that Russia would refuse assent to the Third Point, termi- 
nating her preponderance in the Black Sea, but Austria now came forward with a proposal 
to limit the Russian force there to the number of ships authorised before the war. This 
was rejected by Russia, whereupon the representatives of England and France withdrew 
from the negotiations. Count Buo], representing Austria, then came forward again with 
a scheme the salient features of which were that, if Russia increased her Black Sea fleet 
beyond its existing strength, Turkey might maintain a force equal to it, and England 
and France might each have a naval force in the Black Sea equal to half the Russian 
force, while the increase of the Russian fleet beyond its strength in 1853 would be 
regarded by Austria as a cams belli. These terms were satisfactory neither to the British 
Government nor to the French Emperor, so that it was learned with some surprise that 
Lord John Russell and M. Drouyn de Lhuys (the French Plenipotentiary) had approved 
of them. Upon the Emperor definitely rejecting the proposals, M. Drouyn de Lhuys 
resigned ; he was succeeded as Foreign Minister by Count WalewsM, M. de Persigny 
becoming Ambassador in London. Lord John Russell tendered his resignation, but, at 
Lord Palmerston's solicitation, and most unfortunately for himself, he withdrew it. 

Prom the miniature by Sir W. K. Rosa at Windeoi Castle 

To fact p, 1LO, Vol. UL 


Russia has been much reduced by the losses of the last twelve 
months now that her Forces. are divided and occupied else- 
where than on the Austrian frontier, and now that England 
and France are actually in the field with great Armies, sup- 
ported by great Fleets, what reason is there to believe that this 
same Austria would be more ready to make war four or five 
years hence, when the Army of Russia shall have repaired its 
losses and shall be more concentrated to attack Austria, when 
the Austrian Army shall have been reduced to its Peace 
Establishment, and when the Peace Establishments of Eng- 
land and France, withdrawn within their home stations, shall 
be less ready to co-operate with Austria in war ? What 
reason, moreover, is there for supposing that Austria, who has 
recently declared that though prepared for war she will not 
make war for ten sail of the Line more or less in the Russian 
Black Sea Fleet, will some few years hence, when unprepared 
for war, draw the sword on account of the addition of one ship 
of war to the Russian Fleet in the Black Sea ? 
Such proposals are really a mockery. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Clarendon. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 2Sih April 1855. 

The Queen returns these very important letters. She 
thinks that it will be of great use to ask the Emperor to send 
M. Drouyn de Lhuys over here after having discussed the plans 
of peace with him, in order that he should hear our arguments 
also, and give us his reasons for thinking the terms acceptable. 
The influence of distance and difference of locality upon the 
resolves of men has often appeared to the Queen quite mar- 

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 


MY DEAREST UNCLE, On this day, the fifth birthday of our 
darling little Arthur the anniversary of the opening of the 
Great Exhibition the once great day at Paris, viz. the poor 
King's name-day and also the birthday of the dear old Duke 
I write to thank you for your kind and affectionate letter 
of the 27th. The attentat 1 on the Emperor will have shocked 
you, as it did us ; it shocked me the more as we had watched 
over him with such anxiety while he was with us. 

It has produced an immense sensation in France, we hear, 

i An Italian, Giacomo Pianori, fired twice at the Emperor, while he was riding in the 
Champs Elysees, on the 29th of April ; the Emperor was uninjured. 


and many of his political enemies, he says, cheered him loudly 
as he returned to the Tuileries. As you say, he is very per- 
sonal, and therefore kindness shown him personally will make a 
lasting effect on his mind, peculiarly susceptible to kindness. 
Another feature in his character is that il ne fait pas de phrases 
and what is said is the result of deep reflection. I therefore 
send you (in strict confidence) a copy of the really very kind 
letter he wrote me, and which I am sure is quite sincere. He 
felt the simple and kind treatment of him and her more than 
all the outward homage and display. 

Please kindly to return it when you have done with it. 

I am sure you would be charmed with the Empress ; it is 
not such great beauty, but such grace, elegance, sweetness, and 
nature. Her manners are charming ; the profile and figure 
beautiful and particularly distingues. 

You will be pleased (as I was) at the abandonment of the 
journey to the Crimea, though I think, as regarded the Cam- 
paign, it would have been a good thing. . . . 

Lord John is returned. I can't say more to-day, but re- 
main, ever your devoted Niece, VICTORIA R. 

We have a Childs' Ball to-night. 

Memorandum by Queen Victoria. 


The recent visit of the Emperor Napoleon III. to this 
country is a most curious page of history, and gives rise to 
many reflections. A remarkable combination of circumstances 
has brought about the very intimate alliance which now unites 
England and France, for so many centuries the bitterest 
enemies and rivals, and this, under the reign of the present 
Emperor, the nephew of our greatest foe, and bearing his 
name, and brought about by the policy of the late Emperor of 
Russia, who considered himself as the head of the European 
Alliance against France ! 

In reflecting on the character of the present Emperor 
Napoleon, and the impression I have conceived of it, the 
following thoughts present themselves to my mind : 

That he is a very extraordinary man, with great qualities 
there can be no doubt I might almost say a mysterious man. 
He is evidently possessed of indomitable courage, unflinching 
firmness of purpose, self-reliance, perseverance, and great 
secrecy ; to this should be added, a great reliance on what he 
calls his Star, and a belief in omens and incidents as connected 
with his future destiny, which is almost romantic and at the 
same time he is endowed with wonderful self-control, great 


calmness, even gentleness, and with a power of fascination, the 
effect of which upon all those who become more intimately 
acquainted with him is most sensibly felt. 

How far he is actuated by a strong moral sense of right and 
wrong is difficult to say. On the one hand, his attempts at 
Strasbourg and Boulogne, and this last after having given a 
solemn promise never to return or make a similar attempt 
in which he openly called on the subjects of the then King of 
the French to follow him as the successor of Napoleon, the 
Coupd'Etatoi December 1851, folio wed by great . . . severity 
and the confiscation of the property of the unfortunate Orleans 
family, would lead one to believe that he is not. On the other 
hand, his kindness and gratitude towards all those, whether 
high or low, who have befriended him or stood by him through 
life, and his straightforward and steady conduct towards us 
throughout the very difficult and anxious contest in which we 
have been engaged for a year and a half, show that he is 
possessed of noble and right feelings. 

My impression is, that in all these apparently inexcusable 
acts, he has invariably been guided by the belief that he is 
fulfilling a destiny which God has imposed upon him, and that, 
though cruel or harsh in themselves, they were necessary to 
obtain the result which he considered himself as chosen to carry 
out, and not acts of wanton cruelty or injustice ; for it is 
impossible to know him and not to see that there is much 
that is truly amiable, kind, and honest in his character. 
Another remarkable and important feature in his composition 
is, that everything he says or expresses is the result of deep 
reflection and of settled purpose, and not merely des phrases 
de politesse, consequently when we read words used in his 
speech made in the City, we may feel sure that he means what 
he says ; and therefore I would rely with confidence on his 
behaving honestly and faithfully towards us. I am not able 
to say whether he is deeply versed in History I should rather 
think not, as regards it generally, though he may be, and 
probably is, well informed in the history of his own country, 
certainly fully so in that of the Em,pire, he having made it his 
special study to contemplate and reflect upon all the acts and 
designs of his great uncle. He is very well read in German 
literature, to which he seems to be very partial. It is said, 
and I am inclined to think with truth, that he reads but little, 
even as regards despatches from his own foreign Ministers, he 
having expressed his surprise at my reading them daily. He 
seems to be singularly ignorant in matters not connected 
with the branch of his special studies, and to be ill informed 
upon them by those who surround him. 


If we compare him with poor King Louis Philippe, I should 
say that the latter (Louis Philippe) was possessed of vast know- 
ledge upon all and every subject, of immense experience in 
public affairs, and of great activity of mind ; whereas the 
Emperor possesses greater judgment and much greater firm- 
ness of purpose, but no experience of public affairs, nor mental 
application ; he is endowed, as was the late King, with much 
fertility of imagination. 

Another great difference between King Louis Philippe and 
the Emperor is, that the poor King was thoroughly French in 
character, possessing all the liveliness and talkativeness of 
that people, whereas the Emperor is as unlike a Frenchman as 
possible, being much more German than French in character. 
. . . How could it be expected that the Emperor should have 
any experience in public affairs, considering that till six years 
ago he lived as a poor exile, for some years even in prison, and 
never having taken the slightest part in the public affairs of 
any country ? 

It is therefore the more astounding, indeed almost incom- 
prehensible, that he should show all those powers of Govern- 
ment, and all that wonderful tact in his conduct and manners 
which he evinces, and which many a King's son, nurtured in 
palaces and educated in the midst of affairs, never succeeds in 
attaining. I likewise believe that he would be incapable of 
such tricks and over-reachings as practised by poor King 
Louis Philippe (for whose memory, as the old and kind friend 
of my father, and of whose kindness and amiable qualities 
I shall ever retain a lively sense), who in great as well as in 
small things took a pleasure in being cleverer and more cunning 
than others, often when there was no advantage to be gained 
by it, and which was, unfortunately, strikingly displayed in 
the transactions connected with the Spanish marriages, which 
led to the King's downfall and ruined him in the eyes of all 
Europe. On the other hand, I believe that the Emperor 
Napoleon would not hesitate to do a thing by main force, even 
if in itself unjust and tyrannical, should he consider that the 
accomplishment of his destiny demanded it. 

The great advantage to be derived for the permanent alliance 
of England and France, which is of such vital importance to 
both countries, by the Emperor's recent visit, I take to be 
this : that, with his psculiar character and views, which are 
very personal, a kind, unaffected, and hearty reception by y 
personally in our own family will make a lasting impression 
upon his mind ; he will see that he can rely upon our friend- 
ship and honesty towards him and his country so long as he 
remains faithful towards us ; naturally frank, he will see the 


advantage to be derived from continuing so ; and if he reflects 
on the downfall of the former dynasty, he will see that it arose 
chiefly from a breach of pledges, . . . and will be sure, if I be not 
very much mistaken in his character, to avoid such a course. It 
must likewise not be overlooked that this kindly feeling to- 
wards us, and consequently towards England (the interests of 
which are inseparable from us), must be increased when it is 
remembered that we are almost the only people in his own 
position with whom he has been able to be on any terms of 
intimacy, consequently almost the only ones to whom he could 
talk easily and unreservedly, which he cannot do naturally 
with his inferiors. He and the Empress are in a most isolated 
position, unable to trust the only relations who are near them 
in France, and surrounded by courtiers and servants, who 
from fear or interest do not tell them the truth. It is, there- 
fore, natural to believe that he will not willingly separate from 
those who, like us, do not scruple to put him in possession of 
the real facts, and whose conduct is guided by justice and 
honesty, and this the more readily as he is supposed to have 
always been a searcher after truth. I would go still further, 
and think that it is in our power to keep him in the right course, 
and to protect him against the extreme flightiness, changeable- 
ness, and to a certain extent want of honesty of his own servants 
and nation. We should never lose the opportunity of checking 
in the bud any attempt on the part of his agents or ministers to 
play us false, frankly informing him of the facts, and encourag- 
ing him to bring forward in an equally frank manner whatever 
he has to complain of. This is the course which we have 
hitherto pursued, and as he is France in his own sole person, 
it becomes of the utmost importance to encourage by every 
means in our power that very open intercourse which I must 
say has existed between him and Lord Cowley for the last year 
and a half, and now, since our personal acquaintance, between 

As I said before, the words which fall from his lips are the 
result of deep reflection, and part of the deep plan which he 
has staked out for himself, and which he intends to carry out. 
I would therefore lay stress on the following words which he 
pronounced to me immediately after the investiture of the 
Order of the Garter : " C'est un lien de plus entre news, fai 
prete serment de fidelite a votre Majeste et je le garderai soigneuse- 
ment. C'est un grand evenement pour moi, et fespere pouvoir 
prouver ma reconnaissance envers votre Majeste et son Pays." 
In a letter said to be written by him to Mr F. Campbell, the 
translator of M. Thiers's History of the Consulate and Empire, 
when returning the proof-sheets in 1847, he says " Let us 


hope the day may yet come when I shall carry out the 
intentions of my Uncle by uniting the policy and interests of 
England and France in an indissoluble alliance. That hope 
cheers and encourages me. It forbids my repining at the 
altered fortunes of my family." 

If these be truly his words, he certainly has acted up to 
them, since he has swayed with an iron hand the destinies of 
that most versatile nation, the French. That he should have 
written this at a moment when Louis Philippe had succeeded 
in all his wishes, and seemed securer than ever in the possession 
of his Throne, shows a calm reliance in his destiny and in the 
realisation of hopes entertained from his very childhood which 
borders on the supernatural. 

These are a few of the many reflections caused by the obser- 
vation and acquaintance with the character of this most 
extraordinary man, in whose fate not only the interests of this 
country, but the whole of Europe are intimately bound up. 
I shall be curious to see if, after the lapse of time, my opinion 
and estimate of it has been the right one. VICTORIA R. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Clarendon. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 10th May 1855. 

The Queen returns these interesting letters to Lord Claren- 
don. When the Emperor expresses a wish that positive in- 
structions should be sent to Lord Raglan to join in a general 
forward movement about to take place, he should be made 
aware that Lord Raglan has been ready and most anxious 
for the assault taking place on the 26th, and that he only 
consented to postpone it for a few days at General Canrobert's 
earnest desire, who wished to wait for the army of Reserve. 
It should be kept in mind, however, that the English cannot 
proceed farther as long as the Mamelon has not been taken, 
and that as long as the French refuse to do this they must not 
complain of Lord Raglan's not advancing. The refusal to 
undertake this has, the Queen is sorry to say, produced a bad 
feeling amongst many of our officers and men, which she owns 
alarms her. 1 

i General Canrobert was deficient in dash and initiative ; he knew his defects, and was 
relieved of his command at his own request, being succeeded by General Pelissier. 

On the 24th of May (the Queen's Birthday) a successful expedition was made against 
Kertsch, the granary of Sebastopol, and vast quantities of coal, corn, and flour were 
either seized by the Allies, or destroyed in anticipation of their seizure by the Russians. 

On the 7th of June, the Mamelon (a knoll crowned by a redoubt and protected by the 
Rifle Pits) was taken by the French, and the Gravel Pits, an outwork in front of the 
Redan, by the English. 


Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 22nd May 1855, 

MY DEAREST, KINDEST UNCLE, . . . The state of affairs is 
uncomfortable and complicated just now, but our course is 
straight ; we cannot come to any peace unless we have such 
guarantees by decided limitation of the Fleet, which would 
secure us against Russian preponderance for the future. 1 

Ernest will have told you what a beautiful and touching sight 
and ceremony (the first of the kind ever witnessed in England) 
the distribution of the Medals was. From the highest Prince 
of the Blood to the lowest Private, all received the same dis- 
tinction for the bravest conduct in the severest actions, and 
the rough hand of the brave and honest private soldier came 
for the first time in contact with that of their Sovereign and 
their Queen ! Noble fellows ! I own I feel as if they were 
my own children ; my heart beats for them as for my nearest 
and dearest. They were so touched, so pleased ; many, I hear, 
cried and they won't hear of giving up their Medals, to have 
their names engraved upon them, for fear they should not 
receive the identical one put into their hands by me, which is 
quite touching. Several came by in a sadly mutilated state. 
None created more interest or is more gallant than young Sir 
Thomas Troubridge, who had, at Inkerman, one leg and the 
other foot carried away by a round shot, and continued com- 
manding his battery till the battle was won, refusing to be 
carried away, only desiring his shattered limbs to be raised 
in order to prevent too great a hemorrhage ! He was dragged 
by in a bath chair, and when I gave him his medal I told him 
I should make him one of my Aides-de-camp for his very 
gallant conduct, to which he replied : "I am amply repaid 
for everything ! " 2 

One must revere and love such soldiers as those ! The 
account in the Times of Saturday is very correct and good. 

I must, however, conclude now, hoping soon to hear from 
you again. Could you kindly tell me if you could in a few 
days forward some letters and papers with safety to good 
Stockmar. Ever your devoted Niece, VICTORIA R. 

Queen Victoria to Mr Vernon Smith. 


The Queen has received Mr Vernon Smith's letter on the 
subject of Lord Dalhousie's resignation and the appointment 

1 Prince Albert, in a Memorandum dated the 25th of May, emphasised the difficulties 
ia the way of peace caused by the attitude of Austria, and the possibility of her passing 
from the one alliance to the other. 

2 He was made a C.B. and a Brevet-Colonel ; and also received the Legion of Honour. 


of a successor. She was somewhat astonished that the name 
of a successor to that most important appointment should for 
the first time be brought before her after all official steps for 
carrying it out had been completed. If the selection should 
now not receive the Queen's approval, it is evident that great 
awkwardness must arise. 1 

Queen Victoria to Mr Vernon Smith. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 20th June 1855. 

The Queen received Mr V. Smith's letter yesterday evening 
after her return from Chatham. She readily acquits him of any 
intentional want of respect towards her, or of any neglect in 
going through the prescribed forms with regard to the appoint- 
ment in question, neither of which she meant to insinuate by 
her letter. But she does not look upon the question as one of 
form. She takes a deep and natural interest in the welfare of 
her Indian Empire, and must consider the selection of the fittest 
person for the post of Governor-General as of paramount 
importance. She had frequently discussed this point with 
Lord Palmerston, but the name of Lord Canning never occurred 
amongst the candidates alluded to. The Queen is even now 
quite ignorant as to the reasons and motives which led to his 
selection in preference to those other names, and Mr V. Smith 
will see at once that, were the Queen inclined to object to it, 
she could not now do so without inflicting a deep, personal 
injury on a public man, for whose personal qualities and talents 
the Queen has a high regard. 

She accordingly approves the recommendation, but must 
repeat her regret that no opportunity had been given to her 
to discuss the propriety of it with her Ministers previous to 
the intention of the recommendation becoming known to all 
concerned in it. 

General Simpson to Lord Panmure. 2 

29th June 1855. 
(8.30 A.M.) 

Lord Raglan had been going on favourably until four in the 
afternoon yesterday, when very serious symptoms made their 

1 Mr Vernon Smith, in reply, referred to the statutory power then existing of the 
Directors of the East India Company to nominate a Governor-General, subject to the 
approbation of the Crown. 

2 On the 18th of June, the fortieth anniversary of Waterloo, a combined attack by the 
English on the Redan, and the French on the Malakhoff, was repulsed with heavy losses. 
The scheme was that of Pelissier, and Lord Raglan acquiesced against his better judgment. 
The result depressed him greatly ; he was attacked with cholera, and died on the 28th. 


appearance. Difficulty of breathing was experienced, which 
gradually increased. Up to five o'clock he was conscious, and 
from this time his strength declined almost imperceptibly until 
twenty-five minutes before nine, when he died. I have as- 
sumed the command, as Sir George Brown is too ill on board 

Queen Victoria to General Simpson. 


Not being aware whether Sir George Brown is well enough 
by this time to assume the command of the Army, the Queen 
writes to General Simpson, as the Chief of his Staff, to express 
to him, and through him to the Army, her deep and heartfelt 
grief at the irreparable loss of their gallant and excellent 
Commander, Lord Raglan, which has cast a gloom over us 
all, as it must do over the whole Army. 

But, at the same time, the Queen wishes to express her 
earnest hope and confident trust that every one will more than 
ever now do their duty, as they have hitherto so nobly done, 
and that she may continue to be as proud of her beloved Army 
as she has been, though their brave Chief who led them so 
often to victory and to glory, has been taken from them. 

Most grievous and most truly melancholy it is that poor 
Lord Raglan should die thus from sickness on the eve, 
as we have every reason to hope, of the glorious result of so 
much labour, and so much anxiety, and not be allowed to 
witness it. 

The Queen's prayers will be more than ever with her Army, 
and most fervently do we trust that General Simpson's health, 
as well as that of the other Generals, may be preserved to them 
unimpaired ! 

Queen Victoria to Lady Raglan. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 30th June 1855. 

DEAR LADY RAGLAN, Words cannot convey all I feel at the 
irreparable loss you have sustained, and I and the Country 
have, in your noble, gallant, and excellent husband, whose 
loyalty and devotion to his Sovereign and Country were un- 
bounded. We both feel most deeply for you and your daughters, 
to whom this blow must be most severe and sudden. He was 
so strong, and his health had borne the bad climate, great 
fatigues, and anxieties so well, ever since he left England, that, 
though we were much alarmed at hearing of his illness, we 
were full of hopes of his speedy recovery. 

VOL. in 5 


We must bow to the will of God ; but to be taken away 
thus, on the eve of the successful result of so much 
labour, so much suffering, and so much anxiety, is cruel 
indeed ! 

We feel much, too, for the brave Army, whom he was so 
proud of, who will be sadly cast down at losing their gallant 
Commander, who had led them so often to victory and 

If sympathy can be any consolation, you have it, for we all 
have alike to mourn, and no one more than I, who have lost 
a faithful and devoted Servant, in whom I had the greatest 

We both most anxiously hope that your health, and that of 
your daughters, may not materially suffer from this dreadful 
shock. Believe me always, my dear Lady Raglan, yours very 
sincerely, VICTORIA R. 

Queen Victoria to General Simpson. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 7th July 1855. 

When the Queen last wrote to General Simpson to express 
to him, and through him to her Army in the Crimea, her deep 
grief at the loss of their noble, gallant, and excellent Com- 
mander, it was not yet known that Sir George Brown would 
return home, and that the command of the Army would 
devolve upon General Simpson. She writes to him, therefore, 
to-day, for the first time as the Commander-in-Chief of her 
heroic Army in the East, to assure him of her confidence and 
support. It is as proud a command as any soldier could 
desire, but its difficulties and responsibilities are also very 

General Simpson knows well how admirably his lamented 
predecessor conducted all the communications with our Allies 
the French, and he cannot do better than follow in the same 
course. While showing the greatest readiness to act with 
perfect cordiality towards them, he will, the Queen trusts, never 
allow her Army to be unduly pressed upon, which would only 
injure both Armies. 

The Queen feels very anxious lest the fearful heat which the 
Army is exposed to should increase cholera and fever. Both 
the Prince and herself, the Queen can only repeat, have their 
minds constantly occupied with the Army, and count the days 
and hours between the mails, and it would be a relief to the 
Queen to hear herself directly from General Simpson from time 
to time when he has leisure to write. 


The Prince wishes to be most kindly named to General 
Simpson, and joins with the Queen in every possible good 
wish for himself and her brave and beloved troops. 

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria. 

PICCADILLY, 12th July 1855. 

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty. . . . 

Viscount Palmerston very much regrets to have to say that 
the adverse feeling in regard to Lord John Russell grows 
stronger and spreads wider every day, and there is a general 
desire that he should resign. 1 This desire is expressed by the 
great bulk of the steadiest supporters of the Government, and 
was conveyed to Lord John this evening in the House of Com- 
mons by Mr Bouverie on behalf of those members of the Govern- 
ment who are not in the Cabinet. Lord John has himself come 
to the same conclusion, and informed Viscount Palmerston this 
evening in the House of Commons that he has finally deter- 
mined to resign, and will to-morrow or next day write a letter 
to that effect to be laid before your Majesty. Viscount Palmer- 
ston told him that however great would be the loss of the 
Government by his resignation, yet as this is a question which 
more peculiarly regards Lord John personally, his course must 
be decided by his own judgment and feelings ; but that if he did 
not think necessary to resign, Viscount Palmerston would face 
Sir Edward Bulwer's Motion with the Government as it is. 7 
He asked Lord John, however, whether, if he determined to 
resign, there was any arrangement which he would wish to have 
submitted for your Majesty's consideration, and especially 
whether, if your Majesty should be graciously pleased to raise 
him to the Peerage, such an Honour would be agreeable to him. 
He said that perhaps in the autumn such an act of favour on 
the part of your Majesty might fall in with his views and would 
be gratefully received, but it would not do at present, and 
should not be mentioned. . . . 

1 Lord John Russell had, as stated above, favoured the proposals of Count Buol at 
Vienna, compromising the Third Point to the advantage of Russia. The Ministry had 
disavowed this view, but Lord John had remained in office. On the 24th of May, Mr 
Disraeli moved a vote of censure on the Government for its conduct of the war, fiercely 
assailing Lord John for his proceedings both at Vienna and as Minister. In repelling the 
charge, Lord John made a vigorous speech disclosing no disposition to modify the British 
attitude towards Russian preponderance in the Black Sea, and Mr Disraeli's Motion was 
lost by a majority of 100. On a subsequent night he made a further speech strongly 
antagonistic to Russia, his attitude as to the Austrian proposals being still undisclosed 
to the public. But these speeches caused Count Buol to reveal the favourable view 
taken of his proposals by the English and French Plenipotentiaries, and Lord John 
Russell's inconsistency aroused widespread indignation. 

2 This Motion was one of censure on Lord John Russell for his conduct at Vienna, and 
it was deeply sailing to be informed by subordinate members of the Government that, 
unless he resigned, they would support the vote of censure. Lord John bowed before the 
storm and retired from office. 


Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria. 

PICCADILLY, l?,th July 1855. 

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty, and submits for your Majesty's gracious acceptance 
the resignation of Lord John Russell's office, which Viscount 
Palmerston trusts your Majesty will think is expressed in terms 
highly honourable to Lord John Russell's feelings as a man and 
as a Minister. 

The step, Viscount Palmerston regrets to say, has become 
unavoidable. The storm of public opinion, however much it 
may exceed any just or reasonable cause, is too overbearing to 
be resisted, and Lord John Russell has no doubt best consulted 
his own personal interests in yielding to it. After a time there 
will be a reaction and justice will be done ; but resistance at 
present would be ineffectual, and would only increase irritation. 

Viscount Palmerston is not as yet prepared to submit for 
your Majesty's consideration the arrangement which will 
become necessary for filling up the gap thus made in the 
Government. . 

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston. 

OSBORNE, IZth July 1855. 

The Queen is much concerned by what Lord Palmerston 
writes respecting the feeling of the House of Commons. Lord 
John's resignation, although a severe loss, may possibly assuage 
the storm which he had chiefly produced. But she finds that 
Sir E. Lytton's Motion will be equally applicable to the Govern- 
ment after this event as it would have been before it. She 
trusts that no stone will be left unturned to defeat the success 
of that Motion, which would plunge the Queen and the execu- 
tive Government of the Country into new and most dangerous 
complications. These are really not times to play with the 
existence of Governments for personal feeling or interests ! 

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston. 

OSBORNE, lith July 1855. 

The Queen has received Lord Palmers ton's letter of yester- 
day, and returns Lord John Russell's letter, 1 which reflects the 
greatest credit on him. The resignation had become unavoid- 
able, and Lord Palmerston will do well to let the Debate go by 
before proposing a successor, whom it will be difficult to find 
under any circumstances. Having expressed her feelings on 
1 Stating that his continuance in office would embarrass and endanger the Ministry. 


the position of affairs in her letter of yesterday, she will not 
repeat them here. 

She grants her permission to Lord Palmerston to state in 
Parliament what he may think necessary for the defence of the 
Cabinet. She could have the Council here on Wednesday, 
which day will probably be the least inconvenient to the 
Members of the Government. 

The Queen has just received Lord Palmerston's letter of last 
night, which gives a more cheering prospect. 1 

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 

OSBORNE, 24th July 1855. 

MY DEAREST UNCLE, I feel quite grieved that it must again 
be by letter that I express to you all my feelings of love and 
affection, which yesterday morning I could still do de vive voix. 
It was indeed a happy time ; I only fear that I was a dull com- 
panion silent, absent, stupid, which I feel I have become since 
the War ; and the constant anxiety and preoccupation which 
that odious Sebastopol causes me and my dear, brave Army, 
added to which the last week, or indeed the whole fortnight 
since we arrived here, was one of such uncertainty about this 
tiresome scarlatina, that it made me still more preoccupee. 

The only thing that at all lessened my sorrow at seeing you 
depart was my thankfulness that you got safe out of our Hospital. 
. . . Ever your devoted Niece and Child, VICTORIA R. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Clarendon. 

OSBORNE, 27th July 1855. 

The Queen has delayed answering Lord Clarendon's letter 
respecting Sweden till she received the first letter from Mr 
Magenis, 2 omitted in Lord Clarendon's box. Now, having read 
the whole of these documents, she confesses that she requires 
some explanation as to the advantages which are to arise to 
England from the proposed Treaty, before she can come to any 
decision about it. When a Treaty with Sweden was last in 
contemplation, she was to have joined in the war against Russia 
and to have received a guarantee of the integrity of her do- 
minions by England and France in return ; yet this clause was 
found so onerous to this Country, and opening so entirely a new 

1 In consequence of Lord John's resignation, the motion of censure was withdrawn. 

2 Mr (afterwards Sir) Arthur Charles Magenis, Minister at Stockholm (and afterwards 
at Lisbon), had written to say that an attempt was being made to change the partial 
guarantee of Finmark into a general guarantee on behalf of Sweden and Norway. An 
important Treaty was concluded between Sweden and Norway, and the Western Powers, 
in the following November, which secured the integrity of Sweden and Norway. 


field of questions and considerations, that the Cabinet would 
not entertain it. Now the same guarantee is to be given by us 
without the counterbalancing advantage of Sweden giving us 
her assistance in the war. 

Queen Victoria to Lord Panmure. 

OSBORNE, 30th July 1855. 

The Queen has received Lord Panmure's letter of yesterday 
evening, and has signed the dormant Commission for Sir W. 
Codrington. A similar course was pursued with regard to Sir 
George Cathcart. The Queen hopes that General Simpson 
may still rally. He must be in a great state of helplessness at 
this moment, knowing that he wants, as everybody out there, 
the advantages which Lord Raglan's name, experience, posi- 
tion, rank, prestige, etc., etc., gave him, having his Military 
Secretary ill on board, the head of the Intelligence Department 
dead, and no means left him whereby to gather information or 
to keep up secret correspondence with the Tartars Colonel 
Vico * dead, who, as Prince Edward told the Queen, had become 
a most important element in the good understanding with the 
French Army and its new Commander, and not possessing 
military rank enough to make the Sardinian General 2 consider 
him as his Chief. If all these difficulties are added to those 
inherent to the task imposed upon him, one cannot be surprised 
at his low tone of hopefulness. As most of these will, however, 
meet every Commander whom we now can appoint, the Queen 
trusts that means will be devised to assist him as much as 
possible in relieving him from too much writing, and in the 
diplomatic correspondence he has to carry on. The Queen 
repeats her opinion that a Chef de Chancellerie Diplomatique, 
such as is customary in the Russian Army, ought to be placed 
at his command, and she wishes Lord Panmure to show this 
letter to Lords Palmerston and Clarendon, and to consult with 
them on the subject. Neither the Chief of the Staff nor the 
Military Secretary can supply that want, and the General 
himself must feel unequal to it without any experience on the 
subject, and so will his successor. 

Prince Edward told the Queen in strict confidence that General 
Simpson's position in Lord Raglan's Headquarters had been 
anything but pleasant, that the Staff had been barely civil to 
him ; he was generally treated as an interloper, so that the 
Sardinian and French Officers attached to our Headquarters 

1 Colonel Vico, the French Commissioner attached to Lord Raglan's staff, had died on 
the 10th. 

2 General La Marmora. 

1855] VISIT TO PARIS 135 

observed upon it as a strange thing which would not be tolerated 
in their Armies, and that General Simpson showed himself 
grateful to them for the civility which they showed to a General 
Officer of rank aux cheveux blancs. These little details, con- 
sidered together with the General's extreme modesty, enable 
one to conceive what his present feelings must be. 1 

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston. 

[OSBORNE, 1th August 1855.] 

The Queen has read Sir B. Hall's 2 letter, and must say that 
she quite concurs in the advantage resulting from the playing 
of a band in Kensington Gardens on Sunday afternoon, a prac- 
tice which has been maintained on the Terrace at Windsor 
through good and evil report, and she accordingly sanctions 
this proposal. 3 [She would wish Lord Palmerston, however, 
to notice to Sir B. Hall that Hyde Park, although under the 
management of the Board of Works, is still a Royal Park, and 
that all the Regulations for opening and shutting gates, the 
protection of the grounds and police regulations, etc., etc., 
stand under the Ranger, who alone could give the order Sir B. 
Hall proposes to issue. . . . ] 4 

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 

ST CLOUD,5 23rd August 1855. 

MY DEAREST UNCLE, I do not intend to attempt any de- 
scription, for I have no time for anything of the sort ; besides, 
I have no doubt you will read the papers, and I know good 
Van de Weyer has written au long to you about it all. I will 
therefore only give in a few words my impressions. 

I am delighted, enchanted, amused, and interested, and think 
I never saw anything more beautiful and gay than Paris or 

1 The Russian resources for the defence of Sebastopol, both as to ammunition and 
provisions, were becoming exhausted, and a supreme effort was to be made, by massing 
more Russian troops in the Crimea, to inflict a decisive blow on the besieging forces of 
the Allies. Early on the morning of the 16th of August Prince Gortschakoff attacked the 
French and Piedmontese at the River Tchernaya. The attack on the left was repulsed 
by the French with the utmost spirit and with very little loss ; while the Russian loss, 
both in killed and wounded, was severe. The Sardinian army, under General 7 * Marmora, 
were no less successful on the right. The news of this victory did not reaci. England 
until the Queen and Prince had left for their visit to Paris. 

2 First Commissioner of Public Works ; afterwards Lord Llanover. 

3 The Government granted permission for the Band to play, but the practice was 
discontinued in 1856. See post, p. 194, note 2. 

* The portion of the letter within brackets was struck out of the draft by the Queen. 

5 The Queen and Prince left Osborne early on the 18th in their new yacht, Victoria, 
and Albert, for Boulogne, and the visit to France, which lasted nine days, was brilliantly 
successful. The Queen, in her Journal, recorded with great minuteness the details of 
this interesting time, and some extracts are printed by Sir Theodore Martin in The Life 
of the Prince Consort. 


more splendid than all the Palaces. Our reception is most 
gratifying for it is enthusiastic and really kind in the highest 
degree ; and Marechal Magnan * (whom you know well) says 
that such a reception as I have received every day here is 
much greater and much more enthusiastic even than Napoleon 
on his return from his victories had received ! Our entrance 
into Paris was a scene which was quite feerihaft, and which 
could hardly be seen anywhere else ; was quite overpowering 
splendidly decorated illuminated immensely crowded and 
60,000 troops out from the Gare de Strasbourg to St Cloud, 
of which 20,000 Gardes Nationales, who had come great 
distances to see me. 

The Emperor has done wonders for Paris, and for the Bois 
de Boulogne. Everything is beautifully monte at Court very 
quiet, and in excellent order ; I must say we are both much 
struck with the difference between this and the poor King's 
time, when the noise, confusion, and bustle were great. We 
have been to the Exposition, to Versailles which is most 
splendid and magnificent to the Grand Opera, where the 
reception and the way in which " God save the Queen " was 
sung were most magnificent. Yesterday we went to the 
Tuileries ; in the evening Theatre ici ; to-night an immense 
ball at the Hotel de Ville. They have asked to call a new 
street, which we opened, after me ! 

The heat is very great, but the weather splendid, and though 
the sun may be hotter, the air is certainly lighter than ours 
and I have no headache. 

The Zouaves are on guard here, and you can't see finer men ; 
the Cent Gardes are splendid too. 

We drove to look at poor Neuilly on Sunday, the Emperor 
and Empress proposing it themselves ; and it was a most 
melancholy sight, all in ruins. At le grand Trianon we saw the 
pretty chapel in which poor Marie was married ; at the Tuileries 
the Cabinet where the poor King signed his fatal abdication. I 
wish you would take an opportunity of telling the poor Queen 
that we had thought much of her and the family here, had 
visited those spots which were connected with them in particu- 
lar, and that we had greatly admired the King's great works at 
Versailles, which have been left quite intact. Indeed, the Em- 
peror (as in everything) has shown great tact and good feeling 
about all this, and spoke without any bitterness of the King. 

I still mean to visit (and this was his proposition) the Chapelle 
de St Ferdinand, which I hope you will likewise mention to the 
Queen. . . . 

1 Marshal Magnan bad repressed an insurrection in Lyons in 1849, and aided in the 
Coup d'Etat of 1851. 


The children are so fond of the Emperor, who is so very 
kind to them. He is very fascinating, with that great quiet 
and gentleness. He has certainly excellent manners, and both 
he and the dear and very charming Empress (whom Albert likes 
particularly) do the honneurs extremely well and very gracefully, 
and are full of every kind attention. ... 

Instead of my short letter I have written you a very long one, 
and must end. Many thanks for your kind letter of the 17th. 

How beautiful and how enjoyable is this place ! Ever your 
devoted Niece, VICTOKIA R. 

Queen Victoria to the Emperor of the French. 

OSBORNE, fe 29 Aout 1855. 

SIRE ET MON CHEB FRERE, Une de mes premieres occupa- 
tions en arrivant ici est d'ecrire a votre Majeste et d'exprimer 
du fond de mon coeur combien nous sommes penetres et 
touches de 1'accueil qui nous a ete fait en France d'abord par 
votre Majeste et 1'Imperatrice ainsi que par toute la Nation. 
Le souvenir ne s'effacera jamais de notre memoire, et j'aime a 
y voir un gage precieux pour le futur de la cordialite qui unit 
nos deux Gouvernements ainsi que nos deux peuples. Puisse 
cette heureuse union, que nous devons surtout aux qualites 
personnelles de votre Majeste, se consolider de plus en plus pour 
le bien-etre de nos deux nations ainsi que de toute 1' Europe. 

C'etait avec le coeur bien gros j'ai pris conge de vous, Sire, 
apres les beaux et heureux jours que nous avons passes avec 
vous et que vous avez su nous rendre si agreables. Helas ! 
comme toute chose ici-bas, ils se sont ecoules trop vite et ces 
dix jours de fetes paraissent comme un beau reve, mais ils nous 
restent graves dans notre memoire et nous aimons a passer en 
revue tout ce qui s'est presente a nos yeux d'interessant et de 
beau en eprouvant en meme temps le desir de les voir se re- 
nouveler un jour. 

Je ne saurais vous dire assez, Sire, combien je suis touchee 
de toutes vos bontes et de votre amitie pour le Prince et aussi 
de 1' affection et de la bienveillance dont vous avez comble nos 
enfants. Leur sejour en France a ete la plus heureuse epoque 
de leur vie, et ils ne cessent d'en parler. 

Nous avons trouve tous les autres enfants en bonne sante, 
et le petit Arthur se promene avec son bonnet de police qui 
fait son bonheur et dont il ne veut pas se separer. Que Dieu 
veille sur votre Majeste et la chere Imperatrice pour laquelle 
je forme bien des vceux. 

Vous m'avez dit encore du bateau " au revoir," c'est de tout 
mon cceur que je le repete aussi ! 

VOL. in 5* 


Permettez que j'exprime ici tous les sentiments de tendre 
amitie et d'affection avec lesquelles je me dis, Sire et cher 
Frere, de votre Majeste Imperiale, la bien bonne et affectionnee 
Soeur et Amie, VICTORIA R. 

Je viens a 1'instant meme de recevoir la si aimable depeche 
telegraphique de* votre Majeste. Becevez-en tous mes re- 
merciments les plus affectueux. 

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 

OSBORNE, 29th August 1855. 

MY DEABEST UNCLE, Here we are again, after the plea- 
santest and most interesting and triumphant ten days that I think 
I ever passed. So complete a success, so very hearty and kind 
a reception with and from so difficile a people as the French 
is indeed most gratifying and most promising for the future. 
The Army were most friendly and amicable towards us also. 

In short, the complete Union of the two countries is stamped 
and sealed in the most satisfactory and solid manner, for it is 
not only a Union of the two Governments the two Sovereigns 
it is that of the two Nations ! Albert has told you of all 
the very extraordinary combinations of circumstances which 
helped to make all so interesting, so satisfactory. Of the 
splendour of the Fete at Versailles I can really give no faint 
impression, for it exceeded all imagination ! I have formed 
a great affection for the Emperor, and I believe it is very 
reciprocal, for he showed us a, confidence which we must feel as 
very gratifying, and spoke to us on all subjects, even the most 
delicate. I find no great personal rancour towards the Orleans. 
He has destroyed nothing that the King did, even to the 
Gymnastics of the children at St Cloud, and showed much 
kind and good feeling in taking us to see poor Chartres' monu- 
ment, which is beautiful. Nothing could exceed his tact and 
kindness. I find I must end in a great hurry, and will say 
more another day. Ever your devoted Niece, VICTORIA R. 

Queen Victoria to Baron Stockmar. 

OSBORNE, 1st September 1855. 

You continue to refuse to answer me, but I am not dis- 
couraged by it ; but on the contrary must write to you to give 
vent to my delight at our triumphant, most interesting, and 
most enjoyable visit to Paris ! The Prince has written to you, 
and given you some general accounts, which will please you, 
and the Times has some descriptions ... of the wonderful 


beauty and magnificence of everything. I never enjoyed 
myself *nore, or was more delighted or more interested, and / 
can think and talk of nothing else. I am deeply touched by the 
extraordinary warmth, heartiness, and enthusiasm with which 
we have been received by all ranks, and the kindness shown 
to every one has brought us all back beginning with our- 
selves and ending with the lowest of our servants full of 
gratitude, pleasure, admiration, regret at its being over, and a 
great desire to see such a visit renewed ! It was touching and 
pleasing in the extreme to see the alliance sealed so com- 
pletely, and without lowering either Country's pride, and to see 
old enmities and rivalries wiped out over the tomb of Napoleon 
I., before whose coffin I stood (by torchlight) at the arm of 
Napoleon III., now my nearest and dearest ally ! We have 
come back with feelings of real affection for and interest in 
France and indeed how could it be otherwise when one saw 
how much was done to please and delight us ? The Army too 
(such a fine one !) I feel a real affection for, as the companions 
of my beloved troops ! 

For the Emperor personally I have conceived a real affec- 
tion and friendship, and so I may truly say of the Prince. 
You know what / felt the moment I saw him and became 
acquainted with him, what I wrote down about him, etc. 
Well, we have now seen him for full ten days, from twelve to 
fourteen hours every day often alone ; and I cannot say 
how pleasant and easy it is to live with him, or how attached 
one becomes to him. I know no one who puts me more at my 
ease, or to whom I felt more inclined to talk unreservedly, or in 
whom involuntarily I should be more inclined to confide, than 
the Emperor ! He was entirely at his ease with us spoke 
most openly and frankly with us on all subjects EVEN the 
most delicate, viz. the Orleans Family (this was with me, for I 
was driving alone with him), and I am happy to feel that there 
is nothing now between us which could mar our personal good 
entente and friendly and intimate footing. He is so simple, so 
naif, never making des phrases, or paying compliments so full 
of tact, good taste, high breeding ; his attentions and respect 
towards us were so simple and unaffected, his kindness and 
friendship for the Prince so natural and so gratifying, because 
it is not forced, not pour faire des compliments. He is quite 
The Emperor, and yet in no way playing it ; the Court and 
whole house infinitely more regal and better managed than in 
poor Louis Philippe's time, when all was in great noise and 
confusion, and there was no Court. We parted with mutual 
sorrow, and the Emperor expressed his hope that we shall 
frequently meet and " pas avec de si grandes ceremonies " ! 


What I write here is my feeling and conviction : wonderful it is 
that this man whom certainly we were not over well-disposed 
to should by force of circumstances bo drawn into such close 
connection with us, and become personally our friend, and this 
entirely by his own personal qualities, in spite of so much that 
was and could be said against him ! To the children (who 
behaved beautifully, and had the most extraordinary success) 
his kindness, and judicious kindness, was great, and they are 
excessively fond of him. In short, without attempting to do 
anything particular to make one like him, or ANY personal 
attraction in outward appearance, he has the power of attach- 
ing those to him who come near him and know him, which is 
quite incredible. He is excessively kind in private, and so very 
quiet. I shall always look back on the time passed not only 
in France, but with him personally, as most agreeable. The 
Prince, though less enthusiastic than I am, I can see well, 
shares this feeling, and I think it is very reciprocal on the 
Emperor's part ; he is very fond of the Prince and truly ap- 
preciates him. With respect to the War, nothing can be more 
frank and fair and honest than he is about it, but it makes him 
unhappy and anxious. 

The dear Empress, who was all kindness and goodness, 
whom we are all very fond of, we saw comparatively but 
little of, as for really and certainly very good reasons she must 
take great care of herself. . . . 


Queen Victoria to the Earl of Clarendon. 

OSBORNE, 3rd September 1855. 

The Queen has read the enclosed papers, and must express 
her strongest objection to a Naval Demonstration (which to 
be effectual must be prepared to pass on to measures of 
hostility), in order to obtain changes in the internal system of 
Government of the Kingdom of Naples. 1 England would there- 
by undertake a responsibility which she is in no way capable of 
bearing, unless she took the Government permanently into 
her own hands. The plea on which the interference is to be 
based, viz. that the misgovernment at Naples brings Monar- 
chical institutions into disrepute, and might place weapons in 
the hands of the democracy (as put forth by Sir W. Temple), 2 

1 Lord Palmerston had suggested co-operation by England and France in obtaining 
the dismissal of the Neapolitan Minister of Police as an amende for an affront offered to this 
country, to be enforced by a naval demonstration, coupled with a demand for the libera- 
tion of political prisoners. 

2 The Hon. Sir William Temple, K.C.B. [d. 1856], only brother of Lord Palmerston, 
Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of Naples. 


would be wholly insufficient to justify the proceeding. Whether 
such an armed interference in favour of the people of Naples 
against their Government would lead to a Revolution or not, 
as apprehended by the French Government and disbelieved by 
Lord Palmerston, must be so entirely a matter of chance that 
it would be idle to predict the exact consequences. If 99 out 
of every 100 Neapolitans, however, are dissatisfied with their 
Government (as Lord Palmerston states), it is not unreason- 
able to expect that our demonstration may give them con- 
fidence enough to rise, and if beat down by the King's troops 
in presence of our ships, our position would become exceedingly 

Any insult offered to the British Government, on the other 
hand, it has a perfect right to resent, and to ask reparation for. 
The case, however, is a very unpleasant one. The Neapolitan 
Government deny having intended any slight on the British 
Legation by the order respecting the Box of the " Intendant 
du Theatre," which they state to have been general, and deny 
any intention to interfere with the free intercourse of the 
members of our Legation with Neapolitans, to which Sir W. 
Temple merely replies that notwithstanding the denial such 
an intention is believed by the public to exist. 

The case becomes therefore a very delicate one, requiring 
the greatest care on our part not to put ourselves in the wrong. 

It will be of the greatest importance to come to a thorough 
understanding with France, and if possible also with Austria, 
on the subject. 

Lord Panmure to Earl Granville. 1 

IQth September 1855. 

Telegram from General Simpson, dated Crimea, nine Sep- 
tember, one eight five five, ten nine A.M. " Sebastopol is in 
the possession of the Allies. The enemy during the night and 
this morning have evacuated the south side after exploding 
their Magazines and setting fire to the whole of the Town. 
All the men-of-war were burnt during the night with the ex- 
ception of three Steamers, which are plying about the Harbour. 
The Bridge communicating with the North side is broken." 

War Department, tenth September, one eight five five, four 
forty-five P.M. . . . 

l Minister in attendance at Balmoral. The Queen and Prince occupied their new 
home for the first time on the 7th of September ; it was not yet completed, but, the Queen 
wrote, " the house is charming, the rooms delightful, the furniture, papers, everything, 


Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 

BALMORAL CASTLE, llth September 1855. 

MY DEABEST UNCLE, The great event has as length taken 
place Sebastopol has fallen ! We received the news here last 
night when we were sitting quietly round our table after 
dinner. We did what we could to celebrate it ; but that was 
but little, for to my grief we have not one soldier, no band, 
nothing here to make any sort of demonstration. What we did 
do was in Highland fashion to light a bonfire on the top of a 
hill opposite the house, which had been built last year when 
the premature news of the fall of Sebastopol deceived every 
one, and which we had to leave unlit y and found here on our 
return ! 

On Saturday evening we heard of one Russian vessel having 
been destroyed, on Sunday morning of the destruction of 
another, yesterday morning of the fall of the Malakhoff Tower 
and then of Sebastopol ! We were not successful against the 
Redan on the 8th, and I fear our loss was considerable. Still 
the daily loss in the trenches was becoming so serious that no 
loss in achieving such a result is to be compared to that. This 
event will delight my brother and faithful ally and friend, 
Napoleon III. I may add, for we really are great friends ; 
this attempt, 1 though that of a madman, is very distressing 
and makes one tremble. . . . 

We expect the young Prince Fritz Wilhelm 2 of Prussia on 
a little visit here on Friday. 

I must now conclude. With Albert's love, ever your 
devoted Niece, VICTORIA R. 

Lord Panmure to General Simpson. 

12th September 1855. 

The Queen has received, with deep emotion, the welcome 
intelligence of the fall of Sebastopol. 

Penetrated with profound gratitude to the Almighty, who 
has vouchsafed this triumph to the Allied Armies, Her Majesty 
has commanded me to express to yourself, and through you to 
the Army, the pride with which she regards this fresh instance 
of its heroism. 

The Queen congratulates her Troops on the triumphant 

1 As he was about to enter the Opera House on the evening of the 7th, the Errperor 
was fired at without effect by one Bellegarde, who had been previously convicted of fraud, 
on which occasion his punishment had been mitigated by the Emperor's clemency ; 
he was now sentenced to two years' imprisonment. 

2 Only son of the Prince of Prussia, and afterwards the Emperor Frederick. 

1855] THE MALAKHOFF 143 

issue of this protracted siege, and thanks them for the cheer- 
fulness and fortitude with which they have encountered its 
toils, and the valour which has led to its termination. 

The Queen deeply laments that this success in not without 
its alloy in the heavy losses which have been sustained ; and 
while she rejoices in the victory, Her Majesty deeply sympa- 
thises with the noble sufferers in their country's cause. 

You will be pleased to congratulate General Pelissier in 
Her Majesty's name upon the brilliant result of the assault on 
the Malakhoff, which proves the irresistible force as well as 
indomitable courage of her brave Allies. 

Queen Victoria to General Simpson. 

BALMORAL, lith September 1855. 

With a heart full of gratitude and pride, as well as of sorrow 
for the many valuable lives that have been lost, the Queen 
writes to General Simpson to congratulate him, as well on her 
own part as on that of the Prince, on the glorious news of the 
Fall of Sebastopol ! General Simpson must indeed feel proud 
to have commanded the Queen's noble Army on such an 

She wishes him to express to that gallant Army her high 
sense of their gallantry, and her joy and satisfaction at their 
labours, anxieties, and cruel sufferings, for nearly a year, 
having at length been crowned with such success. 

To General Pelissier x also, and his gallant Army, whom the 
Queen ever unites in her thoughts and wishes with her own 
beloved troops, she would wish General Simpson to convey the 
expression of her personal warm congratulations, as well as of 
her sympathy for their losses. 

The Queen intends to mark her sense of General Simpson's 
services by conferring upon him the Grand Cross of the 

We are now most anxious that not a moment should be lost 
in following up this great victory, and in driving the Russians, 
while still under the depressing effect of their failure, from the 
Crimea ! 

Earl Granville to the Earl of Clarendon. 

BALMORAL, \4lh September 1855. 

MY DEAR CLARENDON, I was sent for after breakfast. The 
Queen and the Prince are much pleased with the draft of your 

1 He now became Duke of Malakhoff, and a Marshal of the French Army. 


Despatch to Naples ; they think it good and dignified. With 
respect to the draft to Lord Stratford, instructing him to re- 
commend to the Porte an application to the Austrian Govern- 
ment for the withdrawal or diminution of the Austrian troops 
in the Principalities, I have been commanded to write what 
the Queen has not time this morning to put on paper. Her 
Majesty does not feel that the objects of this proposed Des- 
patch have been sufficiently explained. It does not appear 
to Her Majesty that, in a military point of view, the plans of 
the Allies are sufficiently matured to make it clear whether 
the withdrawal of the Austrian Army would be an advantage 
or a disadvantage. If the Allies intend to march through 
the Principalities, and attack Russia on that side, the presence 
of the Austrians might be an inconvenience. If, on the other 
hand, they advance from the East, it is a positive advantage 
to have the Russians contained on the other flank, by the 
Austrians in their present position. Looking at the political 
bearing of this move, Her Majesty thinks that it will not fail 
to have an unfavourable effect on Austria, who will be hurt at 
the Allies urging the Porte to endeavour to put an end to an 
arrangement entered into at the suggestion, or at all events 
with the approval, of the Allies. It cannot be an object at this 
moment, when extraneous circumstances have probably acted 
favourably for us on the minds of the Emperor of Austria and 
his Government, to check that disposition, make them distrust 
us, and incline them to throw themselves towards Russia, who 
now will spare no efforts to gain them. Her Majesty sees by 
your proposed Despatch you do not expect the Austrians 
to comply with this demand. Even if they consented to 
diminish the numbers of their Troops, they would do so only 
to suit their own convenience, and such diminution would in 
no ways decrease the evils of the occupation. Lastly, the 
Queen is of opinion that if such a proposal is to be made, 
it ought not to be done through Lord Stratford and the 
Porte, but that the subject should be broached at Vienna 
and the Austrian Government asked what their intentions 
are ; that this would be the more friendly, more open, and 
more dignified course, and more likely than the other plan 
of being successful. Her Majesty, however, doubts that any 
such demand will be acceded to by the Austrians, and 
believes that their refusal will put the Allies in an awkward 

This is, I believe, the pith of Her Majesty's opinions there 
appears to me to be much sense in them and they are well 
deserving of your and Palmerston's consideration. Yours 
sincerely, GRANVILLE. 

1855] LIFE PEERAGES 145 

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston. 

BALMORAL, 13th September 1855. 

The Queen has to thank Lord Palmerston for his letter of 
the 16th. The want of Law Lords in the Upper House has 
often been complained of, and the Queen has long been of 
opinion that in order to remedy the same without adding 
permanently to the Peerage, the Crown ought to use its 
prerogative in creating Peers for life only. Lord Lansdowne 
coincided with this view, and Lord John Russell actually pro- 
posed a " Life Peerage " to Dr. Lushington, who declined it, 
however, from a dislike to become the first of the kind. Mr 
Pemberton Leigh has twice declined a Peerage, but the Queen 
can have no objection to its being offered to him again. 1 . . . 

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria. 

PICCADILLY, 20th September 1855. 

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty. . . . 

A Blue Ribbon has become vacant by the death of the late 
Duke of Somerset, and Viscount Palmerston having com- 
municated with Lord Lansdowne and Lord Clarendon on the 
subject, would beg to submit for your Majesty's gracious 
consideration that this honour might be well conferred upon 
the Duke of Newcastle, who has been the object of much 
undeserved attack, though certainly from inexperience not 
altogether exempt from criticism, and who since his retirement 
from office has shaped his public course in a manner honourable 
to himself, and advantageously contrasting with the aberra- 
tions of some of his former colleagues. 2 

Your Majesty must no doubt have been struck with the vast 
accumulation of warlike stores found at Sebastopol. That 
there should have remained there four thousand cannon, after 
the wear and tear of the Siege, proves the great importance 
attached by the Russian Government to that Arsenal over 
which your Majesty's Flag is now triumphantly flying. 

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston. 

BALMORAL, 2lst September 1855. 

The Queen is anxious to mark her sense of the services of 
the Army and Military Departments at home by conferring 

1 See ante, vol. ii. p. 284. 

2 He had gone out to the Crimea, and entered Sebastopol with General Simpson. The 
Duke did not at this time accept the Garter, which was bestowed on Earl Fortescue. 
See post, p. 156. 


the rank of Field-Marshal on Lord Hardinge, who, from his 
position as Commander-in-Chief, and his long, distinguished 
services, has a strong claim to such an honour. Moreover, 
Marshal Vaillant receiving the G.C.B., whilst it has been thought 
more prudent not to accept the Legion d'Honneur for Lord 
Hardinge, makes it the more desirable. The Prince is now 
again the only Field-Marshal in the Army, which has always 
had several. The Queen thinks that Lord Combermere, being 
the second senior officer of the whole Army, a full General of 
1825, might expect not to be passed over when Lord Hardinge 
is made. The only other General of distinction and seniority 
might be Lord Strafford, but he is only a full General of 1841. 
On this point Lord Palmerston might consult Lord Hardinge 
himself. If he and Lord Combermere alone are made, the 
honour is the greater for him. 1 

The Queen thinks likewise that Lord Panmure ought to 
receive a mark of favour and approval of his conduct on the 
occasion of the Fall of Sebastopol ; either the Civil G.C.B. 
or a step in the Peerage that of Viscount. 2 

Lord Palmerston would perhaps, without delay, give his 
opinion on these subjects to the Queen ; the honours she would 
wish then personally to bestow upon the recipients, and she 
thinks the arrival of the official Despatches the right moment 
for doing so. 

The Prince Albert to the Earl of Clarendon. 

BALMORAL, 2lst September 1855. 

MY DEAR LORD CLARENDON, The Queen wishes me to send 
you the enclosed letters, with the request that they may be 
sent by messengers to Coblentz. 3 

I may tell you in the strictest confidence that Prince Frederic 
William has yesterday laid before us his wish for an alliance 
with the Princess Royal with the full concurrence of his 
parents, as well as of the King of Prussia. We have accepted 
his proposal as far as we are personally concerned, but have 
asked that the child should not be made acquainted with it 
until after her confirmation, which is to take place next Spring, 
when he might make it to her himself, and receive from her 
own lips the answer which is only valuable when flowing from 
those of the person chiefly concerned. A marriage would 
not be possible before the completion of the Princess's seven- 
teenth year, which is in two years from this time. The Queen 

1 Lord Hardinge, Lord Strafford, and Lord Combermere were all made Field-Marshala. 

2 He received fbe G.C.B. 

3 The Prince and Princess of Prussia were then at Coblentz. 


empowers me to say that you may communicate this event to 
Lord Palmerston, but we beg that under present circumstances 
it may be kept a strict secret. What the world may say we 
cannot help. Ever yours, etc., AJLBERT. 

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 

BALMORAL, 22nd September 1855. 

MY DEABEST UNCLE, I profit by your own messenger to 
confide to you, and to you alone, begging you not to mention 
it to your children, that our wishes on the subject of a future 
marriage for Vicky have been realised in the most gratifying and 
satisfactory manner. 

On Thursday (20th) after breakfast, Fritz Wilhelm said he 
was anxious to speak of a subject which he knew his parents 
had never broached to us which was to belong to our Family ; 
that this had long been his wish, that he had the entire con- 
currence and approval not only of his parents but of the King 
and that finding Vicky 50 allerliebst, he could delay no longer 
in making this proposal. I need not tell you with what joy we 
accepted him for our part ; but the child herself is to know 
nothing till after her confirmation, which is to take place next 
Easter, when he probably will come over, and, as he wishes 
himself, make her the proposal, which, however, I have little 
indeed no doubt she will gladly accept. He is a dear, ex- 
cellent, charming young man, whom we shall give our dear 
child to with perfect confidence. What pleases us greatly is 
to see that he is really delighted with Vicky. 

Now, with Albert's affectionate love, and with the prayer 
that you will give your blessing to this alliance, as you have 
done to ours, ever your devoted Niece and Child, 


Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria. 

PICCADILLY, 22nd! September 1855. 

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty, and begs, in the first place, to be allowed to offer 
to your Majesty his most sincere congratulations upon the 
prospective arrangement which His Royal Highness the Prince 
Albert announced in his letter to Lord Clarendon, but which, 
for obvious reasons, should be left to public conjecture for the 
present. Viscount Palmerston trusts that the event, when 
it takes place, will contribute as much to the happiness of 
those more immediately concerned, and to the comfort of your 
Majesty and of the Royal Family, as it undoubtedly will 


to the interests of the two countries, and of Europe in 
general. . . . 

Viscount Palmerston begs to state that the Professorship of 
Greek at the University of Oxford, which was held by the late 
Dean of Christchurch, 1 is still vacant, Viscount Palmerston 
having doubts as to the best person to be appointed. The 
present Dean of Christchurch admitted that the Professorship 
ought to be separated from the Deanery ; he has now recom- 
mended for the Professorship the Rev. B. Jowett, Fellow and 
Tutor of Balliol College, who is an eminent Greek scholar and 
won the Hertford Scholarship ; and Viscount Palmerston 
submits, for your Majesty's gracious approval, that Mr Jowett 
may be appointed. 

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria. 

PICCADILLY, 3Ist October 1855. 

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty, and begs to state that he has this morning seen Lord 
Stanley, and offered to him the post of Secretary of State 
for the Colonies. 2 Lord Stanley expressed himself as highly 
gratified personally by an offer which he said he was wholly 
unprepared to receive, and which was above his expectations 
and pretensions ; but he said that as he owed to his father 
Lord Derby whatever position he may have gained in public 
life, he could not give an answer without first consulting Lord 
Derby. Viscount Palmerston said that of course in making 
the proposal, he had taken for granted that Lord Stanley would 
consult Lord Derby first, because a son would not take a 
decision on such a subject without consulting his father, even 
if that father were merely in private life ; and next because 
such a course would be still more natural in this case, considering 
Lord Derby's political position with reference to those with 
whom Lord Stanley has more or less been generally acting. 
Lord Stanley said that he should go down to Knowsley by the 
five o'clock train this afternoon, and that he would at an early 
moment communicate his answer to Viscount Palmerston ; 
but he said that if he was to state now his anticipation of what 
Lord Derby would recommend and wish him to do, it would 
rather be to decline the offer. 

1 The Very Kev. Thomas Gaisford, D.D., who was appointed Regius Professor of 
Greek in 1811, and Dean of Christchurch in 1831. 

2 Sir William Molesworth, who had represented Radicalism in the Cabinets of Lord 
Aberdeen and Lord Palmerston, died on the 22nd, at the age of forty-five. The Premier 
thereupon offered the vacant place to Lord Stanley, one of his political opponents, then 
only twenty-eight, who was the son of the leader of the Conservative Opposition, and had 
already held office under his father. Lord Stanley's temperament was, in fact, more 
inclined to Liberalism than that of Lord Palmerston himself, and, twenty-seven years 
later, he took the office in a Liberal Government which he now declined. 


Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria. 

PICCADILLY, 10th November 1855. 

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty, and begs to state that in consequence of some things 
that passed in conversation at Sir Charles Wood's two days 
ago, when Mr and Mrs Sidney Herbert dined there, Sir Charles 
Wood is under a strong impression that Mr Herbert would 
be willing to separate himself from Mr Gladstone and Sir 
James Graham, and the Peace Party, and to join the present 
Government. Viscount Palmerston having well considered 
the matter in concert with Sir Charles Wood and Sir George 
Grey, is of opinion that it would be advantageous not only for 
the present, but also with a view to the future, to detach Mr 
Herbert from the clique with which accidental circumstances 
have for the moment apparently associated him, and to fix him 
to better principles of action than those by which Mr Glad- 
stone and Sir James Graham appear to be guided. For this 
purpose Viscount Palmerston proposes with your Majesty's 
sanction to offer to Mr Herbert to return to the Colonial Office, 
which he held on the formation of the present Government. 

Mr Herbert is the most promising man of his standing in the 
House of Commons, and is personally very popular in that 
House ; he is a good and an improving speaker, and his 
accession to the Government would add a good speaker to the 
Treasury Bench, and take away a good speaker from ranks 
that may become hostile. 

He would also supply the place of Lord Canning as a kind 
of link between the Government and some well-disposed 
members of both Houses who belonged more or less to what 
is called the Peel Party. It would be necessary, of course, to 
ascertain clearly that Mr Herbert's views about the war and 
about conditions of peace are the same as they were when he 
was a Member of the Government, and not such as those which 
Mr Gladstone and Sir James Graham have of late adopted. 

If Mr Herbert were to accept, Sir George Grey, who has a 
strong disinclination for the Colonies, would remain at the 
Home Office ; and if Lord Harrowby would take the Post 
Office, which must be held by a Peer, the Duchy of Lancaster, 
which may be held by a Commoner, might be offered to Mr 
Baines 1 with a seat in the Cabinet, and Mr Baines might perhaps, 
with reference to his health, prefer an office not attended with 
much departmental business of detail, while he would be thus 
more free to make himself master of general questions. Such 

l Mr. Matthew Talbot "haloes died prematurely in 1860. His abilities were of a solid 
rather than a brilliant fcind. 


an arrangement would leave the Cabinet, as stated 'in the 
accompanying paper, seven and seven ; and if afterwards 
Lord Stanley of Alderley were added in the Lords, and Sir 
Benjamin Hall in the Commons, which, however, would be 
a matter entirely for future consideration, the equality of 
division would still be preserved. 1 

Viscount Palmerston finds that Mr Herbert is gone down 
to Wilton, and as Viscount Palmerston is going this afternoon 
to Broadlands to remain there till Tuesday morning, he pro- 
poses during the interval to communicate with Mr Herbert, 
Wilton being not much more than an hour's distance from 
Broadlands by the Salisbury railway. 

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria. 

BROADLANDS, Ilth November 1855. 

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty, and begs to state that he has seen Mr Sidney Herbert, 
who declines joining the Government, because he thinks that 
his doing so would expose both him and the Government to 
the suspicion of having altered their opinions. The difference 
between him and the Government is not as to the necessity of 
prosecuting the war with vigour, but as to the conditions of 
peace with which he would be satisfied. He would consent to 
accept conditions which he is aware that the country would 
not approve, and to which he does not expect that the Govern- 
ment would agree. Viscount Palmerston will have to con- 
sider with his Colleagues on Tuesday what arrangement it 
will be best for him to submit for the sanction of your Majesty. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Clarendon. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 13<& November 1855. 

The Queen returns the enclosed most important letters. 
She has read them with much interest, but not without a very 
anxious feeling that great changes are taking place in the whole 
position of the Eastern Question and the War, without our 
having the power to direct them or even a complete knowledge 
of them. 2 Should Austria really be sincere, if the Emperor 

1 Mr. Labouchere became Colonial Secretary. See List of Cabinet as it stood in 1858, 
post, p. 272. 

2 The Emperor was now bent on the termination of hostilities, and the French and 
Austrian Governments had concerted proposals for peace to be submitted to Russia, 
with which they somewhat peremptorily demanded that England should concur. Lord 
Palmerston announced that, rather than make an unsatisfactory peace, he would continue 
the war without the aid of France. States such as Saxony and Bavaria favoured Russia, 
and Baron Beust and M. von der Pfordten, their respective Prime Ministers, had interviews 
with the Emperor, who was anxious for peace on the basis of the Third Point, on which, 
Bince the fall of Sebastopol, the Allies were in a better position to insist. 


Napoleon is really determined not to carry on the war on a large 
scale without her joining, we shall be obliged by common 
prudence to follow him in his negotiations. He may mistrust 
our secrecy and diplomacy, and wish to obtain by his personal 
exertions a continental league against Russia. The missions 
to Stockholm and Copenhagen, the language to Baron Beust 
and M. von der Pfordten and M. de Bourqueney's single- 
handed negotiation, seem to point to this. Can Russia have 
secretly declared her readiness to accept the " Neutralisation " ? 
It is hardly possible, and if so it would be a concession we cannot 
refuse to close upon. Whatever may be the case, the Queen 
thinks it the wisest course not to disturb the Emperor's 
plans, or to show suspicion of them, but merely to insist 
upon the importance of the Army in the Crimea being kept 
so imposing that Russia cannot safely arrange her plans 
on the supposition of a change of policy on the part of 
the Western Powers. 

Had the Queen known of Lord Cowley's letter a few hours 
earlier, she could have spoken to the Duke of Cambridge, who 
was here ; as it was, both she and the Prince were very cautious 
and reserved in what they told him. 

The Queen thought it right to let Sir Hamilton Seymour, 
who is staying here, see the letters, as his thorough acquaintance 
with the present position of affairs is most important. 

Queen Victoria to Sir Charles Wood. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, IQth November 1855. 

The Queen wishes to draw Sir Charles Wood's attention to a 
subject which may become of much importance for the future. 
It is the absence of any Dockyard for building and repairing 
out of the Channel, with the exception of Pembroke. Should 
we ever be threatened by a combination of Russia and France, 
the absence of a Government establishment in the north would 
be very serious. It strikes the Queen that the present moment, 
when our yards hardly supply the demands made upon them, 
and when attention is directed to the Baltic, is a particularly 
favourable one to add an establishment in the Firth of Forth, 
for which the Queen believes the Government possess the ground 
at Leith. Such a measure would at the same time be very 
popular in Scotland, and by making the Queen's Navy known 
there, which it hardly is at present, would open a new field for 
recruiting our Marine. 

Whether Cork in Ireland should not also be made more 
available is very well worth consideration. 


The Queen would ask Sir Charles to communicate this letter 
to Lord Palmerston, who has always had the state of our 
powers of defence so much at heart. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Clarendon. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 19*A November 1855. 

The Queen has attentively perused the voluminous papers, 
which she now returns according to Lord Clarendon's wish. 

An anxious consideration of their contents has convinced 
her that it would be the height of impolicy if we were not to 
enter fairly and unreservedly into the French proposal, and she 
wishes Lord Clarendon to express this her opinion to the 

The terms of the Austrian Ultimatum are clear and complete 
and very favourable to us, if accepted by Russia. 1 If refused, 
which they almost must be, rupture of diplomatic relations 
between Austria and Russia is a decided step gained by us, 
and will produce a state of things which can scarcely fail to 
lead them to war. 

A refusal to entertain the proposal may induce and perhaps 
justify the Emperor of the French in backing out of the War, 
which would leave us in a miserable position. 

If we are to agree to the Emperor's wishes, it must be politic 
not to risk the advantage of the whole measure by a discussion 
with Austria upon minor points of detail, which will cost time, 
and may lead to differences. 

Queen Victoria to Viscount Hardinge. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 22nd November 1855. 

The Queen informs Lord Hardinge that on speaking to Sir 
Colin Campbell yesterday, and informing him how much she 
wished that his valuable services should not be lost to her 
Army in the Crimea, he replied in the handsomest manner, that 
he would return immediately " for that, if the Queen wished 
it, he was ready to serve under a Corporal " ! Conduct like 
this is very gratifying, and will only add to Sir Colin Campbell's 
high name ; but, as by Lord Hardinge's and Lord Panmure's 
advice, the Queen has obtained from him this sacrifice of his own 
feelings to her wishes, she feels personally bound not to permit 

1 The Queen and her Ministers, however, insisted that the neutralisation clause (the 
Third Point) should be made effective, not left illusory, and incorporated in the principal 
and not in a supplementary treaty. Modified in this and other particulars, an ultimatum 
embodying the Austrian proposals, which stipulated, inter alia, for the cession of a portion 
of Bessarabia, was despatched to St Petersburg on the 15th of December, and the 18th 
ot January was fixed as the last day on which a reply would be accepted. 


him to be passed over a second time should the Command again 
become vacant. 

The Queen has had a good deal of conversation with him, 
and from what he told her, as well as from what she has heard 
from others, there seems to be a good deal of laxity of discipline 
particularly as regards the officers in the Army in the Crimea ; 
and she thinks Lord Hardinge should give an order to prevent 
so many officers coming home on leave except when really ill. 
The effect of this on the French is very bad, and the Prince had 
a letter only two days ago from the Prince of Prussia, saying 
that every one was shocked at the manner in which our officers 
came home, and that it lowered our Army very much in the 
eyes of foreign Armies, and generally decreased the sympathy 
for our troops. We deeply regret the death of poor General 
Markham. 1 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Clarendon. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 23rd November 1855. 

The Queen has received Lord Clarendon's letter, and returns 
the very satisfactory enclosures from Lord Cowley. Count 
Walewski remains true to himself ; yet the admission that the 
Neutralisation Clause ought to be part of the European treaty, 
and not an annex, which he makes, is the most important con- 
cession which we could desire. That the Sea of Azov is to be 
dropped the Queen is glad of, as it would appear so humiliating 
to Russia that Austria would probably decline proposing it. 
What the Queen is most afraid of, and what she believes 
actuates the Emperor also, is the consideration that Austria, 
made aware of the intense feeling for Peace a tout prix in France, 
might get frightened at the good terms for us she meant to 
propose to Russia, and might long for an opportunity given by 
us, in any unreasonable demand for modification, to back out 
of her proposal altogether. Lord A. Loftus in his last letter 
states that Baron Manteuffel 2 even was afraid of having 
admitted as proper, terms too hard upon Russia, since peace 
is wanted at Paris. 

The course intended to be pursued by Lord Clarendon in 
summing up the whole question in a public Despatch seems 
quite the right one, as it would never do, on the other hand, 
to let England be considered as merely a la remorque of France, 

1 He commanded the 2nd Division of the Army at the attack on the Kedan, and after 
the fall of Sebastopol, his health, already shattered, broke down completely ; he returned 
home, and died on the 21st of November. 

2 President of the Prussian Ministry. 


an impression unfortunately very prevalent on the Continent 
at this moment. 1 

As to Marshal Pelissier, the best thing the Emperor could do 
would be to recall him, and to put a younger and more enter- 
prising man in his place. As we have got our hero coming 
home, his French colleague might be recalled also. 

The Duke of Newcastle's letter is very interesting ; the Queen 
will return it this evening. It confirms the truth of the axiom 
that a settled policy ought to precede a military plan of cam- 
paign, for which the Prince is always contending. 

We have been much pleased with old Sir Colin Campbell, 
who is a thorough soldier, and appears not at all wanting in 
good sense. On asking him about our rising men, and the officer 
whom he would point out as the one of most promise, he said 
that Colonel Mansfield 2 was without comparison the man 
from whom great services could be expected both in the Field 
and as an Administrator. Lord Clarendon will be pleased to 
hear this, but will also not be surprised if the Queen should 
look out for an opportunity to reclaim him for the Army 
from the Foreign Office. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Clarendon. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 24th November 1855. 

The Queen returns Lord Cowley's letter and General Pelis- 
sier' s telegram. Lord Cowley is quite right in insisting upon 
a clear understanding between England and France before 
negotiations are entered into with Austria. To come to a 
speedy agreement, it will be wise to drop the minor points and 
insist upon the most important. These the Queen takes to be 
the incorporation of the Neutralisation Clause in the general 
Treaty, and the promise on the part of Austria not to accept and 
communicate to us counter-proposals from Russia. If France 
agreed to this, we might agree to the rest of the arrangement. 
General Pelissier' s plan has the advantage of setting us free, but 
deprives us of the Sardinians in the field, an object the French 
have kept steadily in view. The Duke of Cambridge will 
come down here to-night, and we may then hear more on 
the subject. 

The Queen of the French has been taken dangerously ill at 
Genoa ; the Due d'Aumale and Prince de Joinville have been 

1 Lord Clarendon, in the letter to which this was a reply, observed that he had asked 
Lord Cowley to inform Count Walewski that he would have to learn that England was a 
principal in the matter, and " not a political and diplomatic Contingent." 

2 He had distinguished himself in the first Sikh War, and was in 1855 Military Adviser 
to the British Ambassador at Constantinople. 


summoned by telegraph. The Queen has asked the Foreign 
Office to telegraph to enquire after the Queen's state. 

Queen Victoria to Sir William Codrington. 1 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 2Qth November 1855. 

The first Despatches of Sir William Codrington, acknow- 
ledging his appointment to the Command of the Queen's gallant 
Army in the East, having arrived, she will no longer delay 
writing herself to Sir William, to assure him of her support and 
confidence in his new, proud, and important, though at the 
same time difficult position. She wishes to assure him of her 
confidence and support. It is with pleasure that she sees the 
son of her old friend and devoted servant, himself so distin- 
guished in the sister Service, raised by his own merits to so 
exalted a position. Sir William knows the Queen's pride in 
her beloved Troops, as well as her unceasing solicitude for their 
welfare and glory, and she trusts he will on all occasions express 
these feelings from herself personally. 

The Queen feels certain that Sir William Codrington will 
learn, with great satisfaction, that that distinguished and gallant 
officer, Sir Colin Campbell, has most readily and handsomely 
complied with the Queen's wishes that he should return to the 
Crimea and take command of the First Corps d'Armee. His 
presence and his assistance will be of essential service to Sir 
William Codrington, who, the Queen knows, entertains so high 
an opinion of him. 

The Prince wishes his sincere congratulations and kind 
remembrance to be conveyed to Sir William Codrington. 

The Queen would be glad if Sir William could when he has 
leisure to do so from time to time write to her himself, in- 
forming her of the state of her Army, and of affairs in the 

She concludes with every wish for his welfare and success. 

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 5th December 1855. 

MY DEAREST UNCLE, I must make many excuses for not 
writing to you yesterday, to thank you for your kind letter of 
the 30th, as on Friday and Saturday my time was entirely taken 

i Considerable difficulty had been found in appointing a successor to General Simpson, 
who had resigned a task which he found overtaxed his powers. Sir William Codrington 
was junior to three other Generals, who might have felt aggrieved by being passed over. 
The s igacity of the Prince found a way ou t of the difficulty by appointing two of the three 
to the commands of the two corps d'armee into which the Army had, at his instance, been 
subdivided. See ante. p. 153. 


up with my Royal brother, the King of Sardinia, 1 and I had to 
make up for loss of time these last days. He leaves us to- 
morrow at an extraordinary hour four o'clock in the morning 
(which you did once or twice) wishing to be at Compiegne 
to-morrow night, and at Turin on Tuesday. He is eine ganz 
besondere, abenteuerliche Erscheinung, startling in the extreme 
in appearance and manner when you first see him, but, just as 
Aumale says, il faut I' 'aimer quand on le connait bien. He is so 
frank, open, just, straightforward, liberal and tolerant, with 
much sound good sense. He never breaks his word, and you 
may rely on him, but wild and extravagant, courting adven- 
tures and dangers, and with a very strange, short, rough man- 
ner, an exaggeration of that short manner of speaking which his 
poor brother had. He is shy in society, which makes him still 
more brusque, and he does not know (never having been out of 
his own country or even out in Society) what to say to the 
number of people who are presented to him here, and which is, 
I know from experience, a most odious thing. He is truly 
attached to the Orleans family, particularly to Aumale, and 
will be a friend and adviser to them. To-day he will be in- 
vested with the Order of the Garter. He is more like a Knight 
or King of the Middle Ages than anything one knows nowadays. 

On Monday we go to Osborne till the 21st. 

One word about Vicky. I must say that she has a quick 
discernment of character, and I have never seen her take any 
predilection for a person which was not motive, by personal 
amiability, goodness, or distinction of some kind or other. 
You need be under no apprehension whatever on this subject ; 
and she has, moreover, great tact and esprit de conduite. It is 
quite extraordinary how popular she is in Society and again 
now, all these Foreigners are so struck with her sense and 
conversation for her age. 

Hoping soon to hear from you again, and wishing that 
naughty Stockmar may yet be brought to come, believe me 
ever your devoted Niece, . VICTORIA R. 

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria. 

DOWNING STREET, ll/7i December 1855. 

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty and submits a letter which he received a few days 
ago from the Duke of Newcastle declining the Garter. Viscount 

l King Victor Emmanuel was received with great cordiality by the Encrlish people, 
grateful for his co-operation and for the gallantry of his soldiers at the Tchernaya. Count 
Cavour accompanied him, and drafted the reply read by the King at Guildhall to the 
address of the Corporation. 

1855] GARTER FEES 157 

Palmerston on his return from Woburn, where he was for two 
days, saw the Duke of Newcastle, but found that the enclosed 
letter expressed the intention which he had formed. Viscount 
Palmerston would propose to your Majesty the Earl of Fortes- 
cue as a deserving object of your Majesty's gracious favour ; 
Lord Fortescue held the high office of Lord-Lieutenant of 
Ireland, and is a person highly and universally respected. 1 

Viscount Palmerston cannot refrain from saying on this 
occasion that he is not without a misgiving that the high 
amount of fees which he understands is paid by persons who 
are made Knights of the Garter may have some effect in render- 
ing those whose incomes are not very large less anxious than 
they would otherwise be to receive this distinction ; and he 
cannot but think that it is unseemly in general that persons 
upon whom your Majesty may be disposed to confer dignities 
and honours, either as a mark of your Majesty's favour or as a 
reward for their public services, should on that account be 
subject to a heavy pecuniary fine ; and he intends to collect 
information with a view to consider whether all such fees might 
not be abolished, the officers to whom they are now paid receiv- 
ing compensation in the shape of adequate fixed salary. 2 . . . 

Queen Victoria to Lord Panmure. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 22nd December 1855. 

The Queen has received Lord Panmure's answer to her letter 
from Osborne, and is glad to see from it that he is quite agreed 
with the Queen on the subject of the Land Transport Corps. 
She would most strongly urge Lord Panmure to give at once 
carte blanche to Sir W. Codrington to organise it as he thinks 
best, and to make him personally responsible for it. We have 
only eight weeks left to the beginning of spring ; a few refer- 
ences home and their answers would consume the whole of that 
time ! The Army has now to carry their huts on their backs 
up to the Camp ; if it had been fighting, it would have perished 
for want of them, like the last winter. If each Division, Bri- 
gade, and Battalion has not got within itself what it requires 
for its daily existence in the field, a movement will be quite 

The Queen approves the intended increase of Artillery and 
Sappers and Miners ; but hopes that these will be taken from 
the nominal and not the existing strength of the Army. 

1 Earl Fortescue received the Garter ; he died in 1861. 

2 This reform was effected in 1905. 


AFTER two years' duration, the Crimean War was terminated in 
March 1856, at a Conference of the Powers assembled at Paris, by 
a treaty the principal terms of which provided for the integrity of 
Turkey, and her due participation in the public law and system of 
Europe, the neutralisation of the Black Sea, and the opening of its 
waters to commerce (with the interdiction, except in a limited degree, 
of the flag of war of any nation, and of the erection by either Russia 
or Turkey of arsenals), free navigation of the Danube, cession of a 
portion of Bessarabia by Russia, and the reciprocal evacuation of 
invaded territories ; the Principalities to be continued in their exist- 
ing privileges under the suzerainty of the Porte and a guarantee of 
the Contracting Powers. No European protectorate was to be estab- 
lished over the Sultan's Christian subjects. Certain general prin- 
ciples of International Law were also agreed upon. In the course of 
the summer, the Guards made a public re-entry into London ; and 
the Crimea was finally evacuated ; great reviews of the returned 
troops taking place at Aldershot. The thanks of Parliament were 
accorded to the soldiers and sailors engaged, and peace-rejoicings 
celebrated on a great scale. 

The Commissioners who had been sent out, nearly a year before, 
to the Crimea, to investigate the causes of the breakdown in various 
military departments, presented a Report, censuring several high 
officials ; a Military Commission was accordingly appointed to in- 
vestigate the Report, and after sitting for some months at Chelsea, 
completely exonerated the officials in question. 

The^Government having resolved to strengthen the administration 
of the appellate jurisdiction of the House of Lords, Letters Patent 
were made out purporting to create Sir James Parke, an ex-Judge, 
a Baron for his life, under the title of Lord Wensleydale. After 
frequent and protracted debates on this question, the Peers decided 
that such a patent conferred no right to sit and vote in Parliament. 
The Government gave up the contest by creating Sir James (who had 
no son) a hereditary peer. 

The Czar Alexander was crowned at Moscow in September with 
great ceremonial, the Sultan being duly represented, while Lord 
Granville was present as special Ambassador for the Queen. The 
discovery of the cruelty with which political offenders were being 
treated in Neapolitan prisons led to the rupture of diplomatic re- 
lations between England in union with France on the one hand, and 



King Ferdinand on the other ; while a dispute as to the enlistment 
of recruits for the English Army in the United States led to the 
dismissal of the British Minister at Washington, and to temporary 
friction between the two countries. 

The provisions of the Treaty of Paris were not carried out without 
considerable procrastination on the part of Russia, which, by its 
method of evacuating Kars and surrendering Ismail and Reni, and 
by laying claim to Serpent's Island at the mouth of the Danube, 
compelled England to send a fleet to the Black Sea, to enforce strict 
observance of the Treaty. By the end of the year the matter was 
arranged, though in the meantime the possibility of Great Britain 
being represented at the Czar's coronation had been imperilled. 

The abuses which had long existed in the Government of Oudh 
induced the Governor-General of India, early in the year, to issue 
a proclamation placing that kingdom permanently under the au- 
thority of the British Crown. Lord Dalhousie at this time retired 
from the office (which he had held for eight years) of Governor- 
General, and was succeeded by Lord Canning. It fell to the lot of 
the latter to announce the commencement of hostilities between 
this country and Persia, on the ground that the latter was endeavour- 
ing, in defiance of Treaties, to subvert the independence of Herat. 
The Shah had laid siege to the town, when, in December, the English 
fleet, under Admiral Sir Henry Leeke, attacked and captured Bushire 
on the Persian Gulf. Soon afterwards, Sir James Outram arrived 
on the scene from Bombay, and assumed the command. 


Queen Victoria to Lord Panmure. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 5th January 1856. 

THE Queen returns the drawings for the " Victoria Cross." 
She has marked the one she approves with an X ; she thinks, 
however, that it might be a trifle smaller. The motto would 
be better " For Valour " than " For the Brave," as this would 
lead to the inference that only those are deemed brave who 
have got the Victoria Cross. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Clarendon. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 7th January 1856. 

The Queen has received Lord Clarendon's letter, and in 
answer to his question expresses her opinion that Lord Cowley's 
presence at the Council of War will be absolutely necessary. 1 
She believes Lord Clarendon to be agreed with her, that the 
value of a plan of military campaign is entirely dependent 
upon the general policy which the Government intends to 
pursue. As none of our Commissioners at the Council of 
War are in the least acquainted with the latter, they might be 
drawn into plans which would not at all agree with it. Lord 
Cowley would take that part of the question into his own 
hands, in which it will be quite safe. The Queen thinks that 
it is of secondary importance whether Count Walewski attends 
or not, but that the Emperor cannot have the same need of 
his presence which we have of that of our Ambassador. 

l A satisfactory and speedy conclusion of hostilities appearing at this time far from prob- 
able, a Council of War to settle the course of operations was. at the Emperor's suggestion, 
summoned to meet at Paris. Lord Cowley, Count Walewski, Prince Jerome Bonaparte, 
and others, were present, besides Naval and Military representatives of the Allies, among 
whom was the Duke of Cambridge. 



Queen Victoria to the Earl of Clarendon. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 9th January 1856. 

The Queen has read Sir J. Hudson's x letter with much 
interest. There is much truth in what Count Cavour says, and 
it must ever be our object and our interest to see Sardinia 
independent and strong ; as a Liberal constitutional country, 
opposing a barrier alike to unenlightened and absolute as well 
as revolutionary principles and this she has a right to expect 
us to support her in. 

But what she wants to obtain from Austria is not clear. She 
has no right, however, to expect further assurances from us on 
wishes which she seems even to be afraid to state distinctly. 

It is clearly impossible to ask Austria to give up a portion 
of Italy to her, if nothing has occurred to make this necessary 
to Austria. At any rate Sardinia can have lost nothing, but 
on the contrary must have gained by the position which she is 
placed in as an ally of the Western Powers. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Clarendon. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, llth January 1856. 

The Queen now returns the draft 2 to Lord Bloomfield, which 
she could only write about in haste yesterday, as being of a 
nature not to be sanctioned by her. It is quite natural and 
excusable that our patience should at last be worn out by the 
miserable policy which Prussia is pursuing, but it can never 
Tbe our interest openly to quarrel with her. This would be 
simply playing the game of Russia, who would thus be relieved 
from all attacks upon her and see the theatre of the war trans- 
ferred to Germany ; all other complications (which would 
arise therefrom) ruinous to the best interests of the Western 
Powers as they would be the Queen need not refer to. But 
when the draft concludes with a declaration to Prussia that 
England " considers her neutrality as now at an end," this is 
tantamount to a declaration of war ! The late articles in our 
newspapers, and the language of Count Walewski to Lord 
Cowley, make the Queen doubly anxious to warn the Govern- 
ment not to let themselves be drawn on to such a policy. 

1 British Minister at Turin, and an enthusiastic sympathiser with Cavour. The latter 
liad complained to him that if the Austrian proposals were accepted, and peace were 
made, Sardinia could expect no realisation of her cherished hopes, viz. Anglo-French 
support against Austria and against Papal aggression, increased political consideration in 
Europe, and the development of Constitutional Government. 

2 The draft expressed disapproval of the silence maintained by the Prussian Govern- 
ment towards England with regard to the Austrian proposals, of the active measures 
adopted to induce the German Powers not to take part with Austria, as well as of the 
extended f acilities afforded by Prussia to Russia for carrying on the war. 

VOL. Ill 6 


The Emperor of the French to Queen Victoria. 

TUILERIES, le 14 Janvier 1856. 

MADAME ET CHKRE SCETJR, Votre Majeste m'ayant permis 
de lui parler a coeur ouvert toutes les fois que des circonstances 
graves se present eraient, je viens aujourd'hui profiter de la 
faveur qu'elle a bien voulu m' ace order. 

Je viens de recevoir aujourd'hui la nouvelle de la reponse 
de la Russie a rUltimatum de Vienne, et avant d' avoir mani- 
festo mon impression a qui que ce soit, pas meme a Walewski, 
je viens la communiquer a votre Majeste pour avoir son avis. 

Je resume la question : La Russie accepte tout 1'Ultimatum 
autrichien sauf la rectification de frontiere de la Bessarabie, et 
sauf le paragraphe relatif aux conditions particidieres qu'elle 
declare ne pas connaitre. De plus, profitant du succes de 
Kars, elle s' engage a rendre cette forteresse et le territoire 
occupe en echange des points que nous possedons en Crimee 
et ailleurs. 

Dans quelle position allons-nous nous trouver ? D'apres 
la convention, 1'Autriche est obligee de retirer son ambassa- 
deur, et nous, nous poursuivons la guerre ! Mais dans quel 
but allons-nous demander a nos deux pays de nouveaux 
sacrifices d'hommes et d'argent ? Pour un interet purement 
autrichien et pour une question qui ne consolide en rien 
1' empire ottoman. 

Cependant nous y sommes obliges et nous ne devons pas 
avoir 1'air de manquer a nos engagements. Nous serions done 
places dans une alternative bien triste si 1'Autriche elle-meme 
ne semblait pas deja nous inviter de ne point rompre toute 
negociation. Or en reflechissant aujourd'hui a cette situation, 
je me disais : ne pourrait-oii pas repondre a 1'Autriche ceci : 
La prise de Kars a tant soit peu change nos situations ; puisque 
la Russie consent a evacuer toute 1'Asie Mineure nous nous 
bornons a demander pour la Turquie, au lieu de la rectification 
de frontiere, les places fortes f ormant tete de pont sur le Danube, 
tels que Ismail et Kilia. Pour nous, nous demandons en fait 
de conditions particulieres, 1' engagement de ne point retablir les 
forts des iles d' Aland et une amnistie pour les Tartares. Mon 
sentiment est qu'a ces conditions-la la paix serait tres desi- 
rable ; car sans cela je ne puis pas m'empecher de redouter 
1' opinion publique quand elle me dira : " Vous aviez obtenu 
le but reel de la guerre, Aland etait tombe et ne pouvait plus 
se relever, Sebastopol avait eu le meme sort, la flotte Russe 
6tait aneantie, et la Russie promettait non seulement de ne 
plus la faire reparaitre dans la Mer Noire, mais meme de ne 
plus avoir d'arsenaux maritimes sur toutes ses rives ; la Russie 


abandonnait ses conquetes dans 1'Asie Mineure, elle abandon- 
nait son protectorat dans les principautes, son action sur le 
cours du Danube, son influence sur ces correligionnaires sujets 
du Sultan, etc., etc. Vous aviez obtenu tout celo non sans 
d'immenses sacrifices et cependant vous allez les continuer, 
compromettre les finances de la France, repandre ses tresors 
et son sang et pourquoi : pour obtenir quelques landes de la 
Bessarabie ! ! ! " 

Voila, Madame, les reflexions qui me preoccupent ; car 
autant je me sens de force quand je crois etre dans le vrai pour 
inculquer mes idees a mon pays et pour lui faire partager ma 
persuasion, autant je me sentirais faible si je n'etais pas sur 
d' avoir raison ni de faire mon devoir. 

Mais ainsi que je 1'ai dit en commensant a votre Majeste 
je n'ai communique ma premiere impression qu'au Due do 
Cambridge, et autour de moi au contraire j'ai cut qu'il fallaifc 
continuer la guerre. J'espere que votre Majeste accueillera 
avec bonte cette lettre ecrite a la hate et qu'elle y verra une 
nouvelle preuve de mon desir de m' entendre tou jours avec 
elle avant de prendre une resolution. En remerciant votre 
Majeste de 1'aimable lettre que S.A.R. le Due de Cambridge 
m'a remise de sa part, je la prie de recevoir la nouvelle assurance 
de mes sentiments de tendre et respectueux attachement avec 
lesquels je suis de votre Majeste, le bon frere et ami, 


Je remercie bien le Prince Arthur de son bon souvenir. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Clarendon. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, ibih January 1856. 

. . . The Queen will send her letter to the Emperor this 
evening for transmission to Paris. She will enclose it open to 
Lord Clarendon, who will seal and send it after having read it. 

The Queen cannot conceal from Lord Clarendon what her 
own feelings and wishes at this moment are. They cannot 
be for peace now, for she is convinced that this country would 
not stand in the eyes of Europe as she ought, and as the Queen 
is convinced she would after this year's campaign. The honour 
and glory of her dear Army is as near her heart as almost any- 
thing, and she cannot bear the thought that *' the failure on 
the Redan " should be our fast fait d'Armes, and it would cost 
her more than words can express to conclude a peace with 
this as the end. However, what is best and wisest must be 

The Queen cannot yet bring herself to believe that the 
Russians are at all sincere, or that it will now end in peace. 


Queen Victoria to the Emperor of the French. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, le 15 Janvier 1856. 

SIRE ET CHER FRERE, La bonne et aimable lettre que je 
viens de recevoir de la main de votre Majeste m'a cause un 
tres-vif plaisir. J'y vois une preuve bien satisfaisante pour 
moi que vous avez apprecie tous les avantages de ces epanche- 
ments sans reserve, et que votre Majeste en sent comme moi 
le besoin dans les circonstances graves ou nous sommes. Je 
sens aussi toute la responsabilite que votre confiance m'im- 
pose, et c'est dans la crainte qu'une opinion formee et exprimee 
par moi trop a la hate pourrait nuire a la decision finale a 
prendre que je me vois obligee de differer pour le moment la 
reponse plus detaillee sur les considerations que vous avez si 
clairement et si consciencieusement developpees. Cependant, 
je ne veux point tarder de vous remercier de votre lettre, et de 
vous soumettre de mon cot6 les reflexions qui me sont venues 
en la lisant. La Reponse Russe ne nous est pas encore arrivee ; 
nous n'en connaissons pas exactement les termes ; par con- 
sequent, il serait imprudent de former une opinion definitive 
sur la maniere d'y repondre, surtout comme le Prince Gort- 
schakoff parait avoir demand^ un nouveau delai du Gouverne- 
ment Autrichien et de nouvelles instructions de St Peters- 
bourg, et comme M. de Bourqueney parait penser que la 
Russie n'a pas dit son dernier mot. Nous pourrions done 
perdre une chance d' avoir de meilleures conditions, en mon- 
trant trop d'empressement a accueillir celles offertes dans ce 
moment. Celles-ci arriveront peut-etre dans le courant de la 
journee, ou demain, quand mon Cabinet sera reuni pour les 
examiner. Nous sommes au 15 ; le 18 les relations diplo- 
matiques entre 1'Autriche et la Russie doivent etre rompues ; 
je crois que notre position vis-a-vis de la Russie sera meilleure 
en discutant ses propositions apres la rupture et apres en 
avoir vu les effets. En attendant, rien ne sera plus utile a 
la cause de la paix que la resolution que vous avez si sagement 
prise de dire a tous ceux qui vous approchent qu'il faut con- 
tinuer la guerre. Soyez bien sur que dans 1' opinion finale que 
je me formerai, votre position et votre persuasion personnelle 
seront toujours presentes a mon esprit et auront le plus grand 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Clarendon. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, nth January 1856. 

The Queen returns the Duke of Cambridge's and Lord 
Cowley's letters, which together with the account which 


Lord Clarendon gives of his interview with M. de Persigny 
causes the Queen no little anxiety. If negotiations on a 
vague basis are allowed to be begun, the Russian negotiator 
is sure to find out that the French are ready to grant any- 
thing. . . . 

However, whatever happens, one consolation the Queen 
ever will have, which is that with the one exception of that 
failure on the Redan, her noble Army in spite of every possible 
disadvantage which any army could labour under, has invari- 
ably been victorious, and the Russians have always and every- 
where been beaten excepting at Kars, where famine alone 
enabled them to succeed. 

Let us therefore not be (as alas ! we have often been) its 
detractors by our croaking. 

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria. 

PICCADILLY, 17th January 1856. 

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty, and concludes that Lord Lansdowne informed your 
Majesty that the Cabinet, after hearing from Lord Clarendon 
a statement of the course of the recent negotiations as ex- 
plained by the despatches which Lord Clarendon read, came 
to the decision that no further step should be taken, and no 
further communication should be made to the Government of 
France on the matters at issue, until the final decision of the 
Russian Government on the pure and simple adoption of the 
Austrian ultimatum l should be known. Viscount Palmerston 
begs to congratulate your Majesty upon the telegraphic 
message received this morning from Sir Hamilton Seymour, 
announcing that the Russian Government has adopted that 
Austrian ultimatum. So far so well, and the success 
which has attended firmness and steadiness of purpose in 
regard to those conditions may be looked upon as a tolerably 
sure indication that a perseverance in the same course 
will bring the Russian Government to consent to those 
remaining conditions which the Austrian Government 
has not yet (as it says) made known to the Cabinet of 

With regard to the letter of the Emperor of the French to 
your Majesty, and the statements made to Lord Clarendon by 
the Count de Persigny as to the difficulties of the Emperor's 
internal position with respect to finance, and a general desire 

1 See ante, p. 152. 


for peace throughout the Nation, Viscount Palmerston ex- 
pressed his opinion to the Cabinet yesterday that all those 
representations were greatly exaggerated. He is convinced 
that the Emperor of the French is perfectly master of his own 
position, and that he can as to peace or war take the course 
which he may determine to adopt. 

The cabal of stock-jobbing politicians, by whom he is sur- 
rounded, must give way to him if he is firm. They have no 
standing place in the confidence and respect of their fellow- 
countrymen, they represent nothing but the Stock Exchange 
speculations in which they are engaged, and the Emperor's 
throne would probably be stronger, rather than weaker, if they 
were swept away, and better men put in their places. And 
it is a very remarkable circumstance that at the very moment 
when your Majesty and your Majesty's Government? were 
being told that the Emperor would be unable to go on with the 
war on account of the difficulty of finding money, the French 
Government was putting forth in the Moniteur an official 
statement showing that they have a reserve surplus of twenty- 
one millions sterling for defraying the expenses of a campaign 
in the ensuing spring, without the necessity of raising any fresh 

Viscount Palmerston fully concurs in the sentiment of regret 
expressed by your Majesty to Lord Clarendon that the last 
action of the war in which your Majesty's troops have been 
engaged, should, if peace be now concluded, have been the 
repulse at the Redan ; but however it may suit national 
jealousy, which will always be found to exist on the other side 
of the Channel, to dwell upon that check, yet your Majesty may 
rely upon it that the Alma and Inkerman have left recollections 
which will dwell in the memory of the living and not be for- 
gotten in the page of history ; and although it would no doubt 
have been gratifying to your Majesty and to the Nation that 
another summer should have witnessed the destruction of 
Cronstadt by your Majesty's gallant Navy, and the expulsion of 
the Russians from the countries south of the Caucasus by your 
Majesty's brave Army, yet if peace can now be concluded on 
conditions honourable and secure, it would, as your Majesty 
justly observes, not be right to continue the war for the mere 
purpose of prospective victories. It will, however, be obviously 
necessary to continue active preparations for war up to the 
moment when a definite Treaty of Peace is signed, in order that 
the Russians may not find it for their interest to break off 
negotiations when the season for operations shall approach, 
emboldened by any relaxation on the part of the Allies induced 
by too ready confidence in the good faith of their adversary. . . . 


The Duke of Cambridge to Queen Victoria. 

TuiLERlES, 2Qth January 1856. 

MY DEAR COUSIN, Your letters of the 14th and 18th have 
reached me, and I am happy to find by them that you approve 
in conjunction with the Government with what has been done 
by me and my colleagues whilst at Paris. 1 I have given all the 
messages and carried out all the instructions as contained in 
your letters, and I trust as far as possible I have been enabled 
to do some good. On the other hand, I cannot deny that the 
feelings universally expressed here as to the prospects of a 
speedy peace are so different from those felt in England, that it 
is extremely difficult to produce any impression in the sense 
that we could wish it. France wishes for peace more than 
anything else on earth, and this feeling does not confine itself 
to Walewski or the Ministers it extends itself to all classes. 
The Emperor alone is reasonable and sensible in this respect, 
but his position is a most painful one, and he feels it very much. 
The fact is that public opinion is much more felt and more 
loudly expressed in this country than anybody in England at all 
imagines. No doubt the Emperor can do much that he wishes, 
but still he cannot go altogether against a feeling which so loudly 
expresses itself on all occasions, without thereby injuring his 
own position most seriously. I have written to Clarendon very 
fully on this subject, and have explained to him my reasons 
for wishing to return to England as soon as possible, now that 
our military mission is concluded. It is essential that I should 
see the members of the Government, and that I should com- 
municate to them the exact state of feeling here and the views 
of the Emperor as to the mode of smoothing down all difficulties. 
This can only be done by a personal interview on the part of 
somebody thoroughly aware of the present position of affairs. 
Probably at this moment I am in a better position to do this 
than anybody else, from the peculiar circumstances in which I 
have been placed while here, and it is this feeling which makes 
me desirous to return to England with the least possible delay. 
It is my intention therefore to start with my colleagues to- 
morrow, Monday night, for England, to which arrangement the 
Emperor has given his sanction, and by which time he will be 
prepared to tell me what he thinks had best be done, from his 
view of the question. I think it my duty to communicate this 
to you, and hope that you will give my resolution your sanction. 
I beg to remain, my dear Cousin, your most dutiful Cousin, 


1 At the Council of War. See ante, p. 160. 


Queen Victoria to the Earl of Clarendon. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 28th January 1856. 

The Queen sends a letter which she wishes Lord Clarendon 
to give to General La Marmora. 1 We have been extremely 
pleased with him (indeed he is a universal favourite) and found 
him so sensible, mild, and right-minded, in all he says and a 
valuable adviser to the King. The Queen wishes just to men- 
tion to Lord Clarendon that the Duke of Cambridge told her 
that the Emperor had spoken to him about what the King of 
Sardinia had said relative to Austria and France, asking the 
Duke whether such a thing had been said. 2 The Duke seems 
to have answered as we could wish, and the Queen pretended 
never to have heard the report, merely saying that as the pro- 
posed ultimatum was then much talked of, it was very possible 
the King might unintentionally have mistaken the observations 
of the Ministers and ourselves as to our being unable to agree, 
without great caution, to what appeared to be agreed on before- 
hand between France and Austria, and possibly might have in 
his blunt way stated something which alarmed the Emperor 
but that she could not imagine it could be anything else. There 
seems, however, really no end to cancans at Paris ; for the Duke 
of Cambridge seems to have shared the same fate. The two 
atmospheres of France and England, as well as the Society, are 
so different that people get to talk differently. It seems also 
that the King got frightened lest he should at Paris be thought 
too liberal in his religious views (having been complimented for 
it) which he was very proud of and thought it necessary to tell 
the Emperor he was a good Catholic. This is not unnatural in 
his peculiar position. When Lord Clarendon goes to Paris, 
he will be able to silence any further allusion to these idle 
stories which only lead to mischief, and which even Lord Cowley 
seems to have made more of (as to his own feelings upon them) 
than was necessary, but that is equally natural. Speaking of 
his King General La Marmora said : " II ne dira jamais ce qu'il 
ne pense pas, mais il dit quelquefois ce qui serait mieux qu'il 
ne dit pas." He more than any other regrets the King's not 
having seen more of the world, and says his journey had done 
him a great deal of good. 

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston. 

28th January 1856. 

The Queen returns to Lord Palmerston the draft of the speech, 

1 The Sardinian Commander had been^attending the Council of War at Paris. 

2 The King of Sardinia was reported to have told the Emperor that the latter's loyalty 
to the Alliance was questioned by Great Britain, and that it was conjectured in London 
that he was in favour of co-operation with Austria iastead. 


which she thinks extremely well worded, and which she therefore 
trusts will be (with the exception of those passages marked) 
as little altered as possible. Lord John Russell used to say 
that as soon as a speech was discussed in the Cabinet, it was 
so much pruned and altered as to lose all its force. The Queen 
must own that she is much alarmed at hearing that the papers 
of the War Council were to be printed and circulated amongst 
the Cabinet, as she fears that the secrecy, which is so neces- 
sary, upon which the Emperor laid so much stress, will be 
very difficult to be maintained. The Emperor's opinion at 
least, the Queen hopes, will not be printed or generally 
circulated ? > 

The Queen must again press for a very early decision on the 
subject. If this is allowed to drag, it will appear, particularly 
to the Emperor, as if we were not really in earnest, though we 
stickled so much for our additional conditions, which might 
lessen the hopes of peace. Of course the Government must not 
give any answer on this subject should Parliament be so 
indiscreet as to ask what the result of the deliberations of the 
Council of War has been. 

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 29th January 1856. 

MY DEAREST UNCLE, You will kindly forgive my letter 
being short, but we are going to be present this morning at the 
wedding of Phipps's daughter 1 with that handsome lame young 
officer whom you remember at Osborne. It is quite an event 
at Windsor, and takes place in St George's Chapel, which is 
very seldom the case. 

Many thanks for your kind letter of the 25th, by which I am 
glad to see that dear good Philip has arrived safe and well and 
brought back de bons souvenirs. We shall always be happy to 
see him. 

The peace negotiations occupy every one ; if Russia is sincere, 
they will end most probably in peace ; but if she is not, the war 
will be carried on with renewed vigour. The recollection of last 
year makes one very distrustful. 

England's policy throughout has been the same, singularly 
unselfish, and solely actuated by the desire of seeing Europe 
saved from the arrogant and dangerous pretensions of that 
barbarous power Russia and of having such safeguards estab- 
lished for the future, which may ensure us against a repetition 
of similar untoward events. 

1 Maria Henrietta Sophia, dausjhter of Sir Charles Beaumont Phipps, K.C.B., Keeper 
of the Privy Purse, married Captain Frederick Sayer, 23rd Royal Welsh Fusiliers. 
VOL. HI 6* 


I repeat now, what we have said from the beginning, and 
what I have repeated a hundred times, if Prussia and Austria 
had held strong and decided language to Russia in '53, we 
should never have had this war ! 

Now I must conclude. With Albert's best love, ever your 
devoted Niece, VICTORIA R. 

Queen Victoria to Miss Florence Nightingale. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, {January] 1856. 

DEAR Miss NIGHTINGALE, You are, I know, well aware of 
the high sense I entertain of the Christian devotion which you 
have displayed during this great and bloody war, and I need 
hardly repeat to you how warm my admiration is for your 
services, which are fully equal to those of my dear and brave 
soldiers, whose sufferings you have had the privilege of alleviat- 
ing in so merciful a mariner. I am, however, anxious of marking 
my feelings in a manner which I trust will be agreeable to you, 
and therefore send you with this letter a brooch, the form and 
emblems of which commemorate your great and blessed work, 
and which, I hope, you will wear as a mark of the high appro- 
bation of your Sovereign ! 1 

It will be a very great satisfaction to me, when you return 
at last to these shores, to make the acquaintance of one who 
has set so bright an example to our sex. And with every prayer 
for the preservation of your valuable health, believe me, always, 
yours sincerely, VICTORIA II . 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Clarendon. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 7th February 1856. 

With respect to Lord Clarendon's observation that he hopes 
that the Queen " will approve of his upholding the Sardinians 
in the Conference and in all other respects," she can only assure 
him that she is most sincerely anxious that he should do so, as 
the Queen has the greatest respect for that noble little country, 
which, since it has possessed an honest, straightforward as well 
as courageous King, has been a bright example to all Continental 

The Queen rejoices to hear that Count Cavour is coming to 

l The presentation took place on the 29th of January. The jewel resembled a badge 
rather than a brooch, bearing a St George's Cross in red enamel, and the Royal cypher 
surmounted by a crown in diamonds. The inscription " Blessed are the Merciful " 
encircled the badge, which also bore the word " Crimea." 


The Queen hopes that the determination not to admit Prussia 
will be adhered to. 1 She hears that Baron Beust 2 means to 
go to Paris to represent the German Confederation ; this should 
be prevented by all means. 

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, nth February 1856. 

MY DEAREST UNCLE, I had the happiness of receiving your 
kind letter of the 8th on Saturday, and thank you much for it. 
I gave your kind message to Colonel Phipps, who was much 
gratified by it. We came here in wretched weather yesterday, 
leaving Mamma still at Frogmore. 

The Conferences will begin very shortly ; Lord Clarendon 
starts for Paris on Fiday. No one but him could undertake 
these difficult negotiations. No one can tell what the result 
will be and I will say nothing, for I have too strong personal 
feelings to speak upon the subject. 

With respect to your answer respecting your neutrality, and 
the possibility of your being obliged to break it, I must repeat 
that I see no possibility or eventuality that could oblige you to 
do so. Belgium of its own accord bound itself to remain neu- 
tral, and its very existence is based upon that neutrality, which 
the other Powers have guaranteed and are bound to maintain 
if Belgium keeps her engagements. I cannot at all see HOW 
you could even entertain the question, for, as I just said, the 
basis of the existence of Belgium is her neutrality. 

The weather is so mild that we should almost hope Stockmar 
would start soon. If he can't come himself, he should send his 
son for a few days, who could bring us any confidential com- 
munication from his father, and could be the bearer of any from 
us. Something of this kind is most necessary, for it is over- 
whelming to write to one another upon so many details which 
require- immediate answer. . . . 

With Albert's love, and ours to your young people, believe 
me, always, your devoted Niece, VICTORIA R. 

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston. 

Uth February 1856. 

The Queen has seen in the reports of the House of Commons 
that a return has been moved for of all the decorations of the 
Bath given since the war. The Queen hopes the Government 
will not allow the House of Commons so much further to tres- 

1 Prussia was not admitted to the sitting of the Conference until a later sta^e. 

2 Prime Minister of Saxony. 


pass upon the prerogatives of the Crown as now virtually to 
take also the control over the distribution of honours and 
rewards into their hands. 

The King of the Belgians to Queen Victoria. 

LAEKEN, 15^ February 1856. 

MY DEAREST VICTORIA, I have to thank you for your dear 
kind letter of the 12th. Madame de Sevigne says, with great 
truth, that a letter to be a good letter ought to be as if one 
heard the person speak ; your dear letters are always so, and 
you would therefore be praised by Madame de Sevigne, and 
that very deservedly. Lord Clarendon is, Heaven be praised, 
well calculated to bring matters to a happy conclusion. I will 
try to make some impression on the mind of the Emperor 
Alexander, his best policy will be the most honest. By all I 
can learn they wish most sincerely the conclusion of this war. 
If on the side of the Allies only the things which really protect 
the territories of the present Turkish Empire are asked, the 
Russians ought not to manoeuvre, but grant it, and the Allies 
also ought to be moderate. You are very properly never 
to be contradicted, but there are a few things to be remarked. 
This neutrality was in the real interest of this country, but our 
good Congress here did not wish it, and even opposed it ; it was 
impose upon them. A neutrality to be respected must be 
protected. France at all time in cases of general war can put 
an end to it, by declaring to us Vous devez etre avec nous ou 
contre nous. If we answer Nous sommes neutres, they will 
certainly try to occupy us ; then the case of self-defence arises 
and the claim to be protected by the other powers. . . . 

My beloved Victoria, your devoted Uncle, 


Queen Victoria to the Emperor of the French. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, le 15 Fevrier 1856. 

SIRE ET CHER FRERE, Mes Commissaires pour le Conseil de 
Guerre sont a peine revenus de Paris et notre plan de campagne 
est a peine arrete, que mes Plenipotentiaires pour la Conference 
de paix se mettent en route pour assister sous les yeux de V.M. 
a 1'ceuvre de la pacification. Je n'ai pas besoin de vous recom- 
mander Lord Clarendon, mais je ne veux pas le laisser partir 
sans le rendre porteur de quelques mots de ma part. 

Quoique bien convaincue qu'il ne pourra dans les discus- 
sions prochaines s' el ever de questions sur lesquelles il y aurait 
divergence d' opinions entre nos deux Gouvernements, j 'attache 


toutefois le plus haut prix a ce que 1'accord le plus parfait soit 
etabli avant que les conferences ne soient ouvertes ; et c'est 
dans ce but que j'ai charge Lord Clarendon de se rendre a 
Paris quelques jours avant, afin qu'il put rendre un compte 
exact des opinions de mon Gouvernement, et jouir de 1'avan- 
tage de connaitre d fond la pensee de V.M. 

J'eprouverai un sentiment d'intime satisfaction dans ce 
moment critique, et je le regarderai comme une preuve toute 
particuliere de votre amitie, si vous voulez permettre a Lord 
Clarendon de vous exposer personnellement mes vues et 
d' entendre les Votres de Votre proper bouche. 

Les operations de nos armees et de nos flottes combinees, 
sous un commandement divise, ont ete sujettes a d'enormes 
difficultes ; mais ces difficultes ont ete heureusement vaincues. 
Dans la Diplomatie comme a la guerre, les Russesauront sur 
Nous le grand avantage de 1'unite de plan et d'action, et je les 
crois plus forts sur ce terrain que sur le champ de bataille ; 
mais a coup sur, nous y resterons egalement victorieux, si 
nous reussissons a empecher 1'ennemi de diviser nos forces et 
de nous battre en detail. 

Sans vouloir jeter un doute sur la sincerite de la Russie en 
acceptant nos propositions, il est impossible d' avoir a ce sujet 
une conviction pleine et entiere. J'ai tout Heu de croire 
cependant que nul effort et nul stratageme ne seront neglig6s 
pour rompre, s'il etait possible, ou au moins pour affaiblir notre 
alliance. Mais je repose a cet egard dans la fermete de V.M. 
la meme confiance qui saura detruire toutes ces esperances, 
que j'ai dans la mienne et dans celle de mes Ministres. Cepen- 
dant, on ne saurait attacher trop d'importance a ce que cette 
commune fermete soit reconnue et appreciee des le commence- 
ment des negociations, car de la dependra, j'en ai la conviction, 
la solution, si nous devons obtenir une paix dont les termes 
pourront etre consideres comme satisfaisants pour 1'honneur 
de la France et de 1'Angleterre, et comme donnant une juste 
compensation pour les enormes sacrifices que les deux pays 
ont faits. Une autre consideration encore me porte a attacher 
le plus haut prix a cet accord parfait, c'est que si, par son 
absence, nous etions entraines dans une paix qui ne satisferait 
point la juste attente de nos peuples, cela donnerait lieu a des 
plaintes et a des recriminations qui ne pourraient manquer 
de fausser les relations amicales des deux pays au lieu de les 
cimenter davantage comme mon cceur le desire ardemment. 
D'ailleurs, je ne doute pas un moment qu'une paix telle que 
la France et 1'Angleterre ont le droit de la demander sera bien 
certainement obtenue par une determination inebranlable de ne 
point rabaisser les demandes moderees que nous avons faites. 


Vous excuserez, Sire, la longueur de cette lettre, mais il 
m'est si doux de pouvoir epancher mes sentiments SUT toutes 
ces questions si importantes et si difficiles, avec une personne 
que je considere non seulement comme un Allie fidele, mais 
comme un ami sur lequel je puis compter en toute occasion, et 
qui, j'en suis sure, est anime envers nous des memes sentiments. 

Le Prince me charge de vous offrir ses hommages les plus 
affectueux, et moi je me dis pour toujours, Sire et cher Frere, de 
V.M.I., la tres affectionnee Sceur et Amie, 


Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, iGth February 1856. 

The subject to which Lord Palmerston refers in his letter 
of last night, and upon which the Cabinet is going to deliberate 
to-day, has also caused the Queen much anxiety. 

A Civil Commission is sent out by the Government to enquire 
into the conduct of the officers in command in the Crimea ; this 
is done without any consultation with the Commander-in- 
Chief. They report to the Government, inculpating several 
general officers and others in high command ; this report is 
not communicated to the military authorities, nor to the per- 
sons affected by it, but is laid on the table of both Houses of 
Parliament. 1 These officers then for the first time find them- 
selves accused under the authority of Government, and that 
accusation communicated to the Legislature without ever 
having been heard in answer or allowed an opportunity to 
defend themselves. It is stated in both Houses by the Govern- 
ment that the officers may send papers in reply if they choose ! 
But who is to be the Judge on the trial ? The Press, of course, 
and the Times at the head, have already judged and condemned, 
and the House of Commons is now moving in default of another 
Judge to constitute its tribunal by a Committee of Enquiry. 

It is quite evident if matters are left so, and military officers 
of the Queen's Army are to be judged as to the manner in which 
they have discharged their military duties before an enemy by 
a Committee of the House of Commons, the command of the 
Army is at once transferred from the Crown to that Assembly. 

1 Sir John MacNeill and Colonel Tulloch had been sent out to the Crimea early in 1855 
to investigate the breakdown of various military departments. They had issued a pre- 
liminary report in the summer of 1855, and a final one in January 1856, which was pre- 
sented to Parliament. The officers specially censured were Lord Lucan ("who had been 
given the command of a Kegiment), Lord Cardigan, Inspector of Cavalry, Sir Eichard 
Airey, Quartermaster-General, and Colonel Gordon, Deputy Quartermaster-General. 
Lord Panmure wrote on the 17th of February that the Government recommended the 
appointment of a Commission of Enquiry, consisting of General Sir Howard Douglas 
and six other high military officers. The Commission sat at Chelsea, and made its report 
in July, exonerating the officers censured. 


This result is quite inevitable if the Government appear as 
accusers, as they do by the report of their Commission, and 
then submit the accusation for Parliament to deal with, with- 
out taking any steps of their own ! 

The course suggested by Sir James Graham and alluded to 
by Lord Palmerston, of following the precedent of the enquiry 
into the Convention of Cintra, 1 appears therefore to the Queen 
to be the only prudent one. 

The Queen thinks it most unfair to the officers to publish 
their statements beforehand, as these will not go before judges 
feeling the weight of their responsibility, but before the news- 
papers who are their sworn enemies and determined to effect 
their ruin, for which they possess unlimited means. 

The Queen wishes Lord Palmerston to read this letter to the 

The Earl of Clarendon to Queen Victoria. 

PARIS, 18^ February 1856. 

Lord Clarendon presents his humble duty to your Majesty, 
and humbly begs to say that he dined last night at the 
Tuileries, and had a conversation of two hours with the 
Emperor, which was in all respects satisfactory. On no 
occasion has Lord Clarendon heard the Emperor express him- 
self more warmly or with greater determination in favour of 
the Alliance, and H.M. entirely concurred with Lord Clarendon, 
that upon the perfect understanding between the two Govern- 
ments, and the conviction on the part of others that the 
Alliance was not to be shaken, depended the facility with 
which negotiations might be conducted, and the terms on 
which peace would be made. Lord Clarendon spoke with the 
utmost frankness about the flattery that had been and would 
continue to be addressed to His Majesty, and the contrast 
perpetually drawn between England and France, to the dis- 
paragement of the former, for the purpose of disturbing the 
relations between them ; but that your Majesty and your 
Majesty's Government had always treated these tricks with 
contempt, because the confidence in the Emperor's honour 
and loyalty was complete. Lord Clarendon dwelt particu- 
larly upon the feelings of your Majesty and of the Prince on 
this subject, and the pleasure it gave the Emperor was evident ; 

i The Convention of Cintra was concluded on the 30th of August 1808. It was founded 
on the basis of an armistice agreed upon between Sir Arthur Wellesley and General 
Kellerman, on the day after the battle of ^ 7 imiera, and some of its provisions were con- 
sidered too favourable to the French. A Board of Enquiry, under the presidency of Sir 
David Dundas, in the first instance exculpated the British officers ; but the Government 
having instructed the members of the Board to give their opinions individually, four were 
found to approve and three to disapprove the armistice and convention. 

176 OUDH [CHAP, xxv 

and he desired Lord Clarendon to say that your Majesty should 
never find such confidence misplaced. 

He promised Lord Clarendon that he would give Baron 
Brunnow and Count Buol to understand that if they thought 
the Alliance could be disturbed by them they would find them- 
selves grievously mistaken, and that it would be waste of time 
to try and alter any conditions upon which he had agreed with 
the English Government. 

The Emperor appeared to be much gratified by your Majesty's 
letter, for the first thing he said to Lord Clarendon on coming 
into the room before dinner was " qudle charmante lettre vous 
m'avez apportee de la Reine" and then began upon the extra~ 
ordinary clearness with which your Majesty treated all matters 
of business, and the pleasure he derived from every discussion 
of them with your Majesty. . . . 

The Empress was looking in great health and beauty. She 
was in the highest spirits, and full of affectionate enquiry for 
your Majesty. 

The Marquis of Dalhousie to Queen Victoria. 

CALCUTTA, IQth February 1856. 

The Governor-General presents his most humble duty to 
your Majesty, and has the honour of submitting to your Majesty 
a copy of a Proclamation, whereby the Kingdom of Oudh has 
been placed exclusively and permanently under the authority 
of your Majesty's Government. 1 

The various considerations, and the course of public events, 
which led to this necessity, have long since been laid before 
your Majesty's Government in great detail. 

The Governor-General during the past summer communi- 
cated to the Home Authorities his readiness to remain in India 
as long as he dared, namely, for one additional month, until 
the 1st of March, for the purpose of carrying into effect the 
proposed policy regarding Oudh if it was desired that he 
should do so. 

The orders from the Home Government reached the Gover- 
nor-General only upon the 2nd of January, leaving barely two 
months for the assembling of the military force which was 
necessary to provide against all risks for the negotiations with 
the King and for the organisation of the future Civil and 
Military Administration of Oudh. 

Every preparation having been completed, the Resident at 

l In a letter of the 13th, Mr Vernon Smith had told the Queen that the Press rumours 
of " annexation " were premature, and that the use of the word itself had been avoided 
in Lord Canning's correspondence with the Court of Directors. 

1856] THE KING'S APPEAL 177 

Lucknow waited upon the King in person communicated to 
him the resolution which the British Government had taken 
and tendered for his acceptance a new Treaty, whereby the 
transfer of the Government of Oudh would have been made a 
matter of amicable agreement. 

The King wholly refused to sign any Treaty. He declared 
himself ready to submit to the will of the British Government 
in all things. He bade the Resident observe that every mark 
of power had already been laid down by His Majesty's own 
orders the guns at the palace gates were dismounted, the 
guards bore no arms, and, though drawn up as usual in the 
Court, they saluted the Resident with their hands only ; 
while not a weapon was worn by any officer in the Palace. 

The King gave way to passionate bursts of grief and anger 
implored the intercession of the Resident in his behalf and 
finally, uncovering his head, he placed his turban in the Resi- 
dent's hands. This act the deepest mark of humiliation and 
helplessness which a native of the East can exhibit became 
doubly touching and significant when the head thus bared in 
supplication was one that had worn a royal crown. 

The Government, however, had already borne too long with 
the wrongs inflicted by the sovereigns of Oudh upon their 
unhappy subjects. The clamorous grief of the King could not 
be allowed to shut out the cry of his people's misery. The 
King's appeal, therefore, could not be listened to ; and as His 
Majesty, at the end of the three days' space which was allowed 
him for deliberation, still resolutely refused to sign a Treaty, the 
territory of Oudh was taken possession of, by the issue of the 
Proclamation which has now been respectfully submitted to 
your Majesty. 

It is the fourth kingdom in India which has passed under 
your Majesty's sceptre during the last eight years. 1 

Perfect tranquillity has prevailed in Oudh since the event 
which has just been narrated. General Outram writes that 
the populace of Lucknow, more interested than any other 
community in the maintenance of the native dynasty, already 
" appear to have forgotten they ever had a King." In the 
districts the Proclamation has been heartily welcomed by 
the middle and lower classes ; while even the higher orders, 
who of course lose much in a native state by the cessation 
of corruption and tyranny, have shown no symptoms of 

There seems every reason to hope and expect that the same 

1 The earlier annexations were those of the Punjab (1849), Pegu (1852), and Nagpur 
(1853) ; some minor additions were also made under what was called the " doctrine of 


complete tranquillity will attend the further progress of our 
arrangements for the future administration of Oudh. . . . 

The Governor-General has only further to report to your 
Majesty that Lord Canning arrived at Madras on the 14th 
inst., and that he will assume the Government of India on 
the last day of this month. 

The Governor-General will report hereafter Lord Canning's 
arrival at Fort William ; and he has now the honour to sub- 
scribe himself, your Majesty's most obedient, most humble 
and devoted Subject and Servant, DALHOUSIE. 

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 27th February 1856. 

The Queen returns Lord Clarendon's letter. 

The matter becomes very serious, and it would be a bad 
position for us to be left quite alone in the Conference, which 
the Russians, the Queen has every reason to believe, are 
anxiously striving to bring about. In fact, well-informed per- 
sons pretend that this was the main aim of Russia in accepting 
the Austrian ultimatum and going to Paris. 

Would it not answer to take this line : to say to Russia, 
" You have accepted the ultimatum, pur et simple, and have 
now again recognised its stipulations as preliminaries of peace. 
You will, therefore, first of all, have to execute them ; you 
may then come to the question of Kars and say you mean to 
keep it then you will see that Europe, bound to maintain the 
integrity of Turkey, will be obliged to go on with the war, and 
it will be for you to consider whether you mean to go on 
fighting for Kars ; but at present this is not in question, as 
you are only called upon to fulfil the engagements to which 
you have solemnly pledged yourself " ? 

Perhaps Lord Palmerston will discuss this suggestion with 
his colleagues to-night. 

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria. 

PICCADILLY, 27th February 1856. 

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty, and begs to state that as the result of the delibera- 
tions of the Cabinet this evening, the accompanying tele- 
graphic message is proposed to be sent to-morrow morning to 
Lord Clarendon. It is founded upon the substance of your 
Majesty's memorandum of this afternoon. Viscount Palmer- 
eton has taken another copy of this draft. 


Telegram to the Earl of Clarendon. 

28th February 1856. 


Your letter has been considered by the Cabinet. 

Russia should be told that she cannot recede from the con- 
ditions which she deliberately agreed to by a pur et simple 
acceptance at Petersburg, which she afterwards formally re- 
corded in a protocol at Vienna, and which she has within a 
few days solemnly converted into preliminaries of peace. 

Those engagements must be fulfilled, and those conditions 
must be carried into execution. 

As to Kars, Austria, France, and Great Britain have under- 
taken to maintain the integrity of the Turkish Empire, and 
that integrity must be maintained. 

Russia received no equivalent for giving up the principalities 
which she had occupied as a material pledge. She can receive 
none for giving up Kars. 

If Russia determines to carry on the war, rather than give 
up Kars, things must take their course. 

The Marquis of Dalhousie to Queen Victoria. 

GOVERNMENT HOUSE, 29th February 1856. 

Lord Dalhousie presents his most humble duty to your 
Maj esty. 

The guns are announcing from the ramparts of Fort William 
that Lord Canning has arrived. In an hour's time he will 
have assumed the Government of India. Lord Dalhousie will 
transfer it to him in a state of perfect tranquillity. There is 
peace, within and without. And although no prudent man 
will ever venture to predict the certainty of continued peace in 
India, yet Lord Dalhousie is able to declare, within reservation, 
that he knows of no quarter in which it is probable that trouble 
will arise. 1 

Lord Dalhousie desires that his very last act, as Governor- 
General, should be to submit to your Majesty a respectful 
expression of the deep sense he entertains of your Majesty's 
constant approbation of his public conduct while he has held the 
office of Governor-General of India ; together with a humble 
assurance of the heartfelt gratitude with which he shall ever 
remember your Majesty's gracious favour towards him through 

i It has been, however, freely alleged that the failure to repress acts of insubordination 
in the administration of Lord Dalhousie was a contributory, if not the direct, cause of the 
events of 1857. See post, p. 223, and Walpole's History of England from the Conclusion 
of the Great War in 1815, ch. xxvii., and authorities there referred to. 


the eight long years during which he has borne the ponderous 
burden he lays down to-day. 

Lord Dalhousie begs permission to take leave of your 
Majesty, and has the honour to subscribe himself, with deep 
devotion, your Majesty's most obedient, most humble and 
faithful Subject and Servant, DALHOUSIE. 

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, [? March} 1856. 

The Queen returns these letters to Lord Palmerston. She 
entirely concurs in Lord Palmerston' s general views of the 
question, but at the same time she thinks as circumstances, 
which are beyond our control, may so vary from day to day 
or even from hour to hour that Lord Clarendon should receive 
full powers to act according to what may appear to him to be 
best and wisest at the time, even if it should not be in strict 
accordance with what we originally contemplated and must 
naturally wish. Such a power would certainly not be mis- 
placed in Lord Clarendon's hands ; his firmness, and his sense 
of what this country expects, are too well known to lead us to 
doubt of his permitting anything but what would really be for 
the best of this country, and for the maintenance of the 

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 6th March 1856. 

With reference to Lord Clarendon's letter, the Queen must 
say that she, though very reluctantly, shares his opinion, that 
we have no choice now but to accept the peace, even if it is not 
all we could desire, and if another campaign might have got 
us better terms. She feels certain that the bad accounts of the 
French Army in the Crimea, which appears to suffer now all 
the misery which ours suffered last year at the worst time of 
the siege, will more than ever indispose the Emperor from risk- 
ing a renewal of hostilities. It is affirmed that the French 
have beyond 20,000 men in hospital ! 

If we are to have this peace, however, the Queen must again 
agree with Lord Clarendon that we ought not ourselves to 
depreciate it, as our Press has done the deeds of our Army. 

With regard to the principalities, it is the Queen's opinion 
that nothing will oppose a barrier to Russia and her intrigues 
but the arrangement which will satisfy the people themselves, 
viz. an hereditary monarchy. The example of Egypt might 
perfectly well be followed in Wallachia and Moldavia. 


The subject of Poland would, in the Queen's opinion, be 
much better left unintroduced into the present negotiations ; 
we have no claim arising out of this war to ask Russia to make 
concessions on that head, which, moreover, would be treated 
by her as an internal question not admitting of foreign inter- 

The clause in the Treaty of Vienna about the Bonapartes is 
a dead letter, as this very Treaty, now to be signed, will prove, 
and the Emperor would act very unwisely to call for an altera- 
tion in which all Powers who signed the original Treaty would 
claim to be consulted. We have every interest not to bring 
about a European Congress pour la Revision des Traites, which 
many people suspect the Emperor wishes to turn the present 
Conference into. 

The Queen wishes only to add that, should Prussia be asked 
to join in the final Treaty on the ground of her having been a 
party to the July Treaty, we should take care that it does not 
appear that this was an act of courtesy of all the other Powers 
towards Prussia except England, who need not be made to take 
additional unpopularity in Germany upon herself. 

The Earl of Clarendon to Queen Victoria. 

PARIS, ISth March 1856. 

Lord Clarendon presents his humble duty to your Majesty, 
and humbly begs to say that the Emperor gave him to-day the 
most satisfactory report of the Empress and the young Prince. 1 
There appears to be little or no fever now, and a great power 
of sleeping. The Emperor's eyes filled with tears when he 
described the tortures of the Empress and his own sensations. 
He said he hardly knew how to express his gratitude for the 
interest which your Majesty had manifested for the Empress, 
and for the letters which he had received from your Majesty 
and the Prince. 

The Prussian Plenipotentiaries 2 were admitted at the close 
of the Conference this afternoon all important matters under 
negotiation having been concluded. 

Count Walewski made an ineffectual attempt to make it 
appear by a doubtful form of expression that Prussia had taken 
part throughout in the negotiations. Lord Cowley and Lord 
Clarendon said that they wished to show all courtesy to Prussia, 
but could not consent to sign what was manifestly untrue. . . . 

1 The Prince Imperial, Napoleon Eugene Louis Jean Joseph, was born on the 16th of 

2 Baron Manteuffel and Count Hatzfeldt. 


Extract of a Letter from Mr Cobden to a Friend. 1 

MlDHURST, 20th March 1856. 

. . . It is generally thought that the young Prince Frederic 
William of Prussia is to be married to our Princess Royal. I 
was dining tete-a-tete with Mr Buchanan, the American Minister, 
a few days ago, who had dined the day before at the Queen's 
table, and sat next to the Princess Royal. He was in raptures 
about her, and said she was the most charming girl he had ever 
met : " All life and spirit, full of frolic and fun, with an ex- 
cellent head, and a heart as big as a mountain " those were his 
words. Another friend of mine, Colonel Fitzmayer, dined 
with the Queen last week, and in writing to me a description of 
the company, he says, that when the Princess Royal smiles, 
*' it makes one feel as if additional light were thrown upon the 
scene." So I should judge that this said Prince is a lucky 
fellow, and I trust he will make a good husband. If not, 
although a man of peace, I shall consider it a casus belli. . . . 

The Earl of Clarendon to Queen Victoria. 

PAKIS, 29tf March 1856. 

Lord Clarendon presents his humble duty to your Majesty, 
and humbly begs to say that the Emperor sent General Ney 
to him this morning to request that Lord Clarendon would 
convey the cordial thanks of the Emperor to your Majesty for 
the feu de joie fired by your Majesty's troops in the Crimea upon 
the announcement of the birth of the Prince Imperial. 

Lord Clarendon was much embarrassed by a letter this 
morning from Lord Palmerston, desiring that the signature of 
the Treaty should be postponed till Monday, in case the 
Cabinet should have any amendments to propose ; and Lord 
Clarendon humbly hopes that your Majesty may not be dis- 
pleased at his not having acted upon this injunction, because he 
had promised to sign the Treaty to-morrow in accordance with 
the general wish of the Congress, notwithstanding that it was 
Sunday, and he could not therefore go back from his engage- 
ment every preparation is made for illuminations, not alone 
at Paris, but throughout France, as all the Prefects have been 
informed of the signature the odium that would have fallen 
[on] us all would have been extreme throughout Europe it 
may be said, and it would have been regarded as a last proof of 
our unwillingness to make peace. The friendly feeling of the 
Congress towards the English P.P.'s 2 would have changed, and 

1 Submitted to the Queen. 

2 I.e., Plenipotentiaries. 


they probably would have agreed to no amendments, requiring 
that all the seven copies of the Treaty should be recopied. In 
short, Lord Clarendon felt that he had no choice but to take 
upon himself the responsibility of signing to-morrow ; but he 
has suggested that Lord Palmers ton's private letter should be 
converted into a despatch, in order that the sole and entire 
blame should rest with Lord Clarendon. . . .* 

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria. 

PICCADILLY, 30th March 1856. 

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty, and in submitting the accompanying letter from Lord 
Clarendon, he begs to state that he informed Lord Clarendon 
by the messenger yesterday evening that all he had done 
and agreed to was approved, and that he might sign the 
Treaty to-day. It was to be signed at half -past twelve this 

Viscount Palmerston begs to congratulate your Majesty 
upon an arrangement which effects a settlement that is satis- 
factory for the present, and which will probably last for many 
years to come, of questions full of danger to the best interests 
of Europe. Greater and more brilliant successes by land and 
sea might probably have been accomplished by the Allies if the 
war had continued, but any great and important additional 
security against future aggressions by Russia could only have 
been obtained by severing from Russia large portions of her 
frontier territory, such as Finland, Poland, and Georgia ; and 
although by great military and financial efforts and sacrifices 
those territories might for a time have been occupied, Russia 
must have been reduced to the lowest state of internal distress, 
before her Emperor could have been brought to put his name 
to a Treaty of Peace finally surrendering his sovereignty over 
those extensive countries ; and to have continued the war long 
enough for these purposes would have required greater endur- 
ance than was possessed by your Majesty's Allies, and might 
possibly have exhausted the good- will of your Majesty's own 
subjects. . . . 

l For the chief stipulations of the Treaty, see Introductory Note, ante, p. 158. In 
addition to the actual Treaty, an important declaration was made as to the rules of inter- 
national maritime law, to be binding only on the signatory powers, dealing with the 
following points : 

Ca) Abolition of Privateering. 

(b) Neutral flag to cover enemy's goods, other than contraband of war. 

(c) Neutral goods, other than contraband of war, under enemy's flag, to be exempt 

from seizure. 

(d) Blockades to be binding must be effective, i.e. maintained by adequate marine 




The Earl of Clarendon to Queen Victoria. 

PARIS, 30M March 1856. 

Lord Clarendon presents his humble duty to your Majesty, 
and humbly begs to congratulate your Majesty upon the 
signature of peace this afternoon. It is not to be doubted that 
another campaign must have brought glory to your Majesty's 
arms, and would have enabled England to impose different 
terms upon Russia, but setting aside the cost and the horrors of 
war, in themselves evils of the greatest magnitude, we cannot 
feel sure that victory might not have been purchased too dearly 
a continuation of the war would hardly have been possible 
either wi< h or without France if we had dragged her on with 
us it would have been most reluctantly on her part, her finances 
would have suffered still more, she would have borne us ill-will, 
would have acted feebly with us, and would on the first favour- 
able occasion have left us in the lurch. If we had continued 
the war single-handed, France would feel that she had behaved 
shabbily to us, and would therefore have hated usallthemore, and 
become our enemy sooner than under any other circumstances ; 
a coalition of Europe might then have taken place against 
England, to which the United States would but too gladly have 
adhered, and the consequence might have been most serious. 

Lord Clarendon would not make such an assertion lightly, 
but he feels convinced that your Majesty may feel satisfied with 
the position now occupied by England six weeks ago it was a 
painful position here, everybody was against us, our motives 
were suspected, and our policy was denounced ; but the uni- 
versal feeling now is that we are the only country able and ready, 
and willing, if necessary, to continue the war ; that we might 
have prevented peace, but that having announced our readiness 
to make peace on honourable terms we have honestly and un- 
selfishly acted up to our word. It is well known, too, that the 
conditions on which peace is made would have been different if 
England had not been firm, and everybody is, of course, glad even 
here that peace should not have brought dishonour to France. 
Lord Clarendon, therefore, ventures to hope that the lan- 
guage in England with respect to the peace will not be apolo- 
getic or dissatisfied. It would be unwise and undignified, and 
would invite criticism if such language were held before the 
conditions are publicly known. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Clarendon. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, Zlst March 1856. 

The Queen thanks Lord Clarendon much for his two letters 
of Saturday and yesterday ; and we congratulate him on the 

1856] END OF THE WAR 185 

success of his efforts in obtaining the Peace, for to him alone 
it is <lue, and also to him alone is due the dignified position which 
the Queen's beloved country holds, and which she owes to a 
straightforward, steady, and unselfish policy throughout. 

Much as the Queen disliked the idea of Peace, she has become 
reconciled to it, by the conviction that France would either 
not have continued the war, or continued it in such a manner 
that no glory could have been hoped for for us. 

We have a striking proof of this in Pelissier not having 
obeyed the Emperor's orders and never having thought of 
occupying Sak. 1 This really might be hinted to the Emperor. . . . 

The Queen finds Lord Palmerston very well pleased with the 
Peace, though he struggled as long as he could for better con- 
ditions. . . . 

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 1st April 1856. 

MY DEAREST UNCLE, . . . Peace is signed ! But till the 
ratifications have taken place its terms cannot be known. 
That so good a Peace has been obtained, and that this country 
stands in the high position she now does by having made peace, 
but not yielding to unwo'i thy and dishonourable terms, is all 
owing to Lord Clarendon, whose difficulties were immense, and 
who cannot be too highly praised. 

May I beg to remind you to make enquiries, quietly, about 
the young Prince of Orange 2 as to his education, entourage, 
and disposition ? Pray also don't forget to try and let us have 
a new Russian ; it would be infinitely better* 

We were much grieved to hear the day before yesterday from 
Sommer that poor Stockmar had had a relapse, but the illness 
is clearly of a spasmodic nature and therefore not at all danger- 
ous, and the pain had speedily left him, but of course left him 
again weaker, which is most distressing. 

Now with Albert's affectionate love and our reiterated 
warmest thanks, in which Vicky is included, for your having 
so VERY kindly come over for her Confirmation, believe me, 
ever, your devoted Niece and Child, VICTORIA R. 

Queen Victoria to the Emperor of the French. 

PALAIS DE BUCKINGHAM, le 3 Avril 1856. 

SIRE ET MON CHER FRERE, V.M. me permettra de lui offrir 
toutes mes felicitations a 1' occasion de la paix qui a ete conclue 

1 The word is so written in the original draft. There was a place of the name near Old 
Fort in the Crimea, but this is more probably an abbreviation for Sakatal in Caucasia. 
Prince William Nicholas, born 1840, elder son of King William III. of Holland. 
8 The new Russian Ambassador was Count Creptowitch. 


sous vos auspices, et peu de jours seulement apres 1'heureux 
evenement qui vous a donne un fils. Quoique partageant le 
sentiment de la pluspart de mon peuple qui trouve que cetto 
paix est peut-etre un peu precoce, j'eprouve le besoin de vous 
dire que j'approuve hautement les termes dans lesquels elle 
a ete conue, comme un resultat qui n'est pas indigne des 
sacrifices que nous avons faits mutuellement pendant cette 
juste guerre, et comme assurant autant que cela se peut, la 
stabilite de I'equilibre Europeen. . . . 

Le Prince me charge de vous offrir ses hommages les plus 
affectueux, et je me dis pour toujours, Sire et cher Frere, de 
V.M.I., la bien affeetionnee Soeur et Amie, VICTORIA R. 

The Earl of Clarendon to Queen Victoria. 

PARIS, 6th April 1856. 

Lord Clarendon presents his humble duty to your Majesty. . . . 

Lord Clarendon humbly begs in Lord Cowley's name and his 
own most gratefully to acknowledge the kind and gracious 
intention of your Majesty to raise each of them a step in the 
Peerage, and they venture to hope that your Majesty will not 
have been displeased at their having respectfully declined this 
great distinction. Lord Cowley's reason was his extreme 
poverty, and the feeling that an accession of rank would only 
aggravate the inconvenience he already experiences from being 
a Peer. . . . 

Lord Clarendon felt that courtesy titles to his younger 
sons would be a positive injury to them in working for their 
bread, and he relied upon your Majesty's unvarying kindness 
for appreciating his reluctance to prefer himself to his children. 
He may, with entire truth, add that the knowledge that your 
Majesty has approved of their conduct is ample and abundant 
reward for Lord Cowley and himself. Lord Clarendon hopes 
it is not presumptuous in him to say that he would not exchange 
your Majesty's letters of approval for any public mark of your 
Majesty's favour. . . . 

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, llth April 1856. 

Now that the moment for the ratification of the Treaty of 
Peace is near at hand, the Queen wishes to delay no longer the 
expression of her satisfaction as to the manner in which both 
the War has been brought to a conclusion, and the honour and 
interests of this country have been maintained by the Treaty 
of Peace, under the zealous and able guidance of Lord Palmer- 


ston. She wishes as a public token of her approval to bestow 
the Order of the Garter upon him. Should the two vacant 
Ribbons already have been promised to the Peers whose names 
Lord Palmerston has on a former occasion submitted to the 
Queen, there could be no difficulty in his being named an 
extra Knight, not filling up the next vacancy which may 
occur ; this course was followed when Lord Grey received the 
Garter from the hands of King William. 

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria. 

PICCADILLY, llth April 1856. 

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty, and is unable to express in words the gratification 
and thankfulness which he feels upon the receipt of your 
Majesty's most gracious and unexpected communication of 
this morning. The utmost of his ambition has been so to per- 
form the duties of the high position in which your Majesty has 
been pleased to place him, as to prove himself not unworthy of 
the confidence with which your Majesty has honoured him ; 
and the knowledge that your Majesty has found no reason to 
be dissatisfied with your choice ; and that his endeavour 
properly to discharge his duties to your Majesty and the 
country have met with your Majesty's approval would of 
itself be an ample reward for any labour or anxiety with which 
the performance of those duties may have been attended, and, 
therefore, the gracious communication which he has this 
morning received from your Majesty will be preserved by him 
as in his eyes still more valuable even than the high honour 
which it announces your Majesty's intention to confer upon him. 

That high and distinguished honour Viscount Palmerston 
will receive with the greatest pride as a public mark of your 
Majesty's gracious approbation, but he begs to be allowed to 
say that the task which he and his colleagues have had to 
perform has been rendered comparatively easy by the en- 
lightened views which your Majesty has taken of all the great 
affairs in which your Majesty's Empire has been engaged, and 
by the firm and steady support which in all these important 
transactions your Majesty's servants have received from the 

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 12th April 1856. 

The Queen returns the draft of Treaty, which she approves, 
and of which she would wish to have a copy. 


The Queen believes that the Cabinet are going to consider 
to-day the amount of retrenchments which may be necessary 
in the Army and Navy. 

She trusts and expects that this will be done with great 
moderation and very gradually ; and that the difficulties we 
have had, and the sufferings which we have endured, may not 
be forgotten, for to the miserable reductions of the last thirty 
years are entirely owing our state of helplessness when the War 
began ; and it would be unpardonable if w T e were to be found 
in a similar condition, when another War and who can tell 
how soon there may be one ? breaks out. 

We must never for a moment forget the very peculiar state 
of France, and how entirely all there depends upon one man's 

We ought and must be prepared for every eventuality, and 
we have splendid material in that magnificent little Army in 
the Crimea. 

The Queen wishes Lord Plamerston to show this letter to the 

The Emperor of the French to Queen Victoria. 

PARIS, le 12 Avril 1856. 

MADAME ET TEES CHERE SCETJB, Votre Majeste m'a fait 
grand plaisir en me disant qu'elle etait satisfaite de la con- 
clusion de la paix, car ma constante preoccupation a ete, tout en 
desirant la fin d'une guerre ruineuse, de n'agir que de concert 
avec le Gouvernement de votre Majeste. Certes je con^ois 
bien qu'il ait ete desirable d'obtenir encore de meilleurs re- 
sultats, mais etait-ce raisonnable d'en attendre de la maniere 
dont la guerre avait ete engagee ? J'avoue que je ne le crois 
pas. La guerre avait ete trop lentement conduite par nos 
generaux et nos amiraux et nous avions laisse le temps aux 
Russes de se rendre presque imprenables a Cronstadt comme 
en Crimee. Je crois done que nous aurions paye trop chere- 
ment sous tous les rapports les avantages que nous eussions pu 
obtenir. Je suis pour cette raison heureux de la paix, mais 
je suis heureux surtout que notre Alliance sorte intacte des 
conferences et qu'elle se montre a 1' Europe aussi solide que le 
premier jour de notre union. (Je prie le Prince Albert de ne 
pas etre jaloux de cette expression.) 

Nous avons appris avec la plus vive satisfaction que les 
pro jets que votre Majeste avait conus pour le bonheur de la 
Princesse Royale allaient bientot se realiser. On dit tant de 
bien du jeune Prince Frederic Guillaume que je ne doute pas 
que votre charmante fille ne soit heureuse. L'Imperatrice, qui 


attend avec impatience le moment de pouvoir ecrire a votre 
Majeste, a ete bien touchee de votre aimable lettre. Vers le 
commencement de Mai nous irons a St Cloud ou votre souvenir 
nous y accompagne toujours, car ces lieux nous rappellent 
le sejour de votre Majeste et nous faisons des voeux pour 
qu'un si heureux evenement puisse se renouveler. 

Je prie votre Majeste de me rappeler au souvenir du Prince 
Albert et de recevoir avec bonte 1' assurance des sentiments 
de respectueuse amitie avec lesquels je suis, de votre Majeste, 
le devoue Frere et Ami, NAPOLEON. 

Queen Victoria to Viscount Hardinge. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 2Ist April 1856. 

The Queen has heard from Colonel Phipps that Lord 
Hardinge is most anxious for her sanction to the paper sub- 
mitted yesterday, if even as merely a temporary measure, 
before the mail goes this evening, as all the shipping at Bala- 
klava is waiting for it. She hopes Lord Hardinge will see how 
inconvenient and unpleasant it must be to the Queen to have 
important matters submitted at such short notice that they 
cannot even be discussed by her without detriment to the 
public service, and trusts that she may not again be placed in 
a similar position. She has now signed the paper, but only 
as a temporary measure, and upon the understanding that 
Lord Hardinge will submit to her, between this and the next 
mail, the arrangements which are now wanting. 

She has also signed the proposal about Canada, but must 
express her conviction that General Le Marchant, 1 as Civil 
Governor of the Colony, cannot possibly attend to the command 
of the Brigade, which ought to have a distinct Commander. 
There may be Artillery in Canada, but is it horsed ? and in 
Batteries ? 

We are rapidly falling back into the old ways ! 

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 


MY DEAREST UNCLE, Having returned late from a drive, 
I have but little time to spare to thank you for your kind 
letter of the 2nd. Last Thursday (1st) was our darling 
Arthur's sixth birthday, which he enjoyed duly. On the 3rd 
we received Brunnow 2 who was so nervous and humble, and 
so emu that he could hardly speak. He dines with us to-night, 

1 Sir John Gaspard Le Marchant, 1803-1874, Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia 
from 1852 to 1857. 

2 He had come to England, charged with a special mission. 


and the dinner is given for him, being a funny collection of 
antagonistic elements Granville, Clarendon, Lansdowne, 
Aberdeen, Graham, John Russell, Derby, and Malmesbury ! 
" The Happy Family," I call it. 

The Opposition have taken the line of disapproving the 
Peace and showing great hostility to Russia. 

To-morrow we have a Levee, and on Thursday a ball in our 
fine new room, which we open on that day ; and on Friday 
there is a Peace Fete at the Crystal Palace. On Saturday we 
go out of town ; and now I must end, begging to be forgiven 
for so hurried a scrawl, but I had to write a long letter and to 
sit to Winterhalter. Ever your devoted Niece, 


Queen Victoria to Mr Ldbouchere. 

OSBORNE, Uth May 1856. 

The Queen has received Mr Labouchere's letter, and hastens 
to express her opinion that Mr Wilson x would not be at all a 
proper person to be Governor of so large and important a 
Colony as Victoria. It ought to be a man of higher position 
and standing, and who could represent his Sovereign 

She wishes further to observe that Mr Labouchere should in 
future take care that, while he tries to ascertain the feelings of 
people as to their accepting the offer of a Colonial appoint- 
ment, before he submits them to the Queen, that these en- 
quiries should be made in such a manner as not to lead these 
persons to expect the appointment, else, if the Queen does not 
approve of them, the whole odium of the refusal will fall upon 
her. The best way, and the way in which similar appoint- 
ments are conducted in the other Offices, would be to mention 
the names first to the Queen, and if she approves of them, 
to ascertain the feelings of the respective candidates. This 
would avoid all difficulties on the subject. 

Queen Victoria to Mr Labouchere. 

14th May 1856. 

The Queen would quite approve of the selection of Sir H. 
Bulwer, Lord Lyttelton, or Sir H. Barkly for Victoria. She is 
decidedly of opinion that the Governor should be an English- 
man and not a Colonist. Now that self -Government has been 
established in the Colonies, the person of the Governor is the 

1 James Wilson, the founder of Tlie Economist, was at this time Financial Secretary 
to the Treasury. In 1859 he accepted the new office of Financial Member of the Council 
of India, but died in the following year. 

1856] NAVAL POLICY 191 

only connection remaining with the Mother Country ; and if 
the Government were once filled from among the public men 
in the Colonies, this would become a precedent most difficult 
to break through again, and possibly paving the way for total 
separation. 1 

Queen Victoria to Sir Charles Wood. 

OSBORNE, I8th May 1856. 

The Queen has to thank Sir C. Wood for his long and clear 
statement as to the present position of the Naval Force, which 
she quite understands. She attaches the greatest importance 
to perfect faith being kept with the sailors, and on that account 
was distressed to hear of the misapprehension at Portsmouth 
the other day. 

A good system for a Naval Reserve would be most im- 
portant. The Queen thinks a Commission, composed chiefly 
of younger officers still conversant with the present feelings of 
our sailors, would best be able to advise on the subject ; the 
old Admirals are always and not unnaturally somewhat behind 
their time. 

With respect to the policy of not too rapidly reducing our 
naval armaments, Sir C. Wood only anticipates the Queen's 
most anxious wish on this subject, for we cannot tell what may 
not happen anywhere at any moment ; our relations with 
America are very unsettled, and our Alliance with France de- 
pends upon the life of one man. And it is best to be prepared, 
for else you excite suspicion if you have suddenly to make pre- 
parations without being able to state for what they are intended. 

With regard to the Sailors' Homes, the Queen concurs in 
the advantage of leaving them to private management ; but 
the Government, having so large a stake in the sailors' welfare,, 
would act wisely and justly to make a handsome donation to 
all of them at the present moment, taking care that this should 
be used by the different establishments for their permanent 
extension. Five thousand pounds amongst them would be 
by no means an unreasonable sum to give as a token of the 
interest taken in the well-being of these brave men when no 
immediate return in shape of service was expected for it. 

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston. 

OSBORNE, 21st May 1856. 

The Queen is very anxious about the fixing of our Peace 
establishment both for the Army and Navy. Although Lord 

1 Sir Henry Bulwer declined. Sir Henry Barkly was appointed. 


Hardinge's proposals are before the Government already for 
some time, no proposal has yet been submitted to the Queen ; 
and on enquiry from Sir C. Wood, he stated but two days ago 
that no reduction of the Navy was yet settled. On the other 
hand, the Queen sees from the Chancellor of the Exchequer's 
speech that he specifies the sums by which both Army and 
Navy estimates are to be reduced. This prejudges the whole 
question, and will deprive the Government of all power freely 
to consider these important questions. The Queen was, more- 
over, sorry to find Mr Disraeli, Mr Gladstone, and Sir Francis 
Baring agreeing with the doctrine of the Times and Lord Grey 
that we ought not to improve our state of preparation for war ; 
and if we had been better prepared for the late war, we should 
have been still more disappointed. 1 

Memorandum by Queen Victoria. 


It is a strange omission in our Constitution that while the 
wife of a King has the highest rank and dignity in the realm 
after her husband assigned to her by law, the husband of a 
Queen regnant is entirely ignored by the law. This is the more 
extraordinary, as a husband has in this country such par- 
ticular rights and such great power over his wife, and as the 
Queen is married just as any other woman is, and swears to 
obey her lord and master, as such, while by law he has no rank 
or defined position. This is a strange anomaly. No doubt, 
as is the case now the Queen can give her husband the highest 
place by placing him always near her person, and the Nation 
would give it him as a matter of course. Still, when I first 
married, we had much difficulty on this subject ; much bad 
feeling was shown, and several members of the Royal Family 
showed bad grace in giving precedence to the Prince, and the 
late King of Hanover positively resisted doing so. I gave the 
Prince precedence by issuing Letters Patent, but these give 
no rank in Parliament or at the Council Board and it would 
be far better to put this question beyond all doubt, and to 
secure its settlement for all future Consorts of Queens, and thus 
have this omission in the Constitution rectified. Naturally 
my own feeling would be to give the Prince the same title and 
rank as I have, but a Titular King is a complete novelty in 
this country, and might be productive of more inconveniences 

i In the course of an elaborate reply, Lord Palmerston stated that the country had 
never been in a better condition of defence than at the present time, but he insisted that 
the Militia, which from 1815 to 1832 had been allowed to become extinct, must be main- 
tained ia an efficient state 120,000 strong. 


than advantages to the individual who bears it. Therefore, 
upon mature reflection, and after considering the question for 
nearly sixteen years, I have come to the conclusion that the 
title which is now by universal consent given him of " Prince 
Consort," with the highest rank in and out of Parliament 
immediately after the Queen, and before every other Prince of 
the Royal Family, should be the one assigned to the husband 
of the Queen regnant once and for all. This ought to be done 
before our children grow up, and it seems peculiarly easy to do 
so now that none of the old branches of the Royal Family are 
still alive. 

The present position is this : that while every British sub- 
ject, down to the Knight, Bachelor, Doctor, and Esquire, has 
a rank and position by Law, the Queen's husband alone has 
one by favour and by his wife's favour, who may grant it 
or not ! When granted as in the present case, it does not 
extend to Parliament and the Council, and the children may 
deny the position which their mother has given to their father 
as a usurpation over them, having the law on their side ; or 
if they waive their rights in his favour, he will hold a position 
granted by the forbearance of his children. In both cases this 
is a position most derogatory to the Queen as well as to her 
husband, and most dangerous to the peace and well-being of 
her family. If the children resist, the Queen will have her 
husband pushed away from her side by her children, and they 
will take precedence over the man whom she is bound to obey ; 
if they are dutiful, she will owe her peace of mind to their 
continued generosity. 

With relation to Foreign Courts, the Queen's position is 
equally humiliating in this respect. Some Sovereigns (crowned 
heads) address her husband as " Brother," some as " Brother 
and Cousin," some merely as " Cousin." When the Queen 
has been abroad, her husband's position has always been a 
subject of negotiation and vexation ; the position which has 
been accorded to him the Queen has always had to acknow- 
ledge as a grace and favour bestowed on her by the Sovereign 
whom she visited. While last year the Emperor of the French 
treated the Prince as a Royal personage, his uncle declined to 
come to Paris avowedly becausa he would not give precedence 
to the Prince ; and on the Rhine in 1845 the King of Prussia 
could not give the place to the Queen's husband which com- 
mon civility required, because of the presence of an Archduke, 
the third son of an uncle of the then reigning Emperor of 
Austria, who would not give the pas, and whom the King 
would not offend. 

The only legal position in Europe, according to international 

VOL. in 7 


law, which the husband of the Queen of England enjoys, is 
that of a younger brother of the Duke of Saxe-Coburg, and. this 
merely because the English law does not know of him. This 
is derogatory to the dignity of the Crown of England. 

But nationally also it is an injury to the position of the Crown 
that the Queen's husband should have no other title than that 
of Prince of Saxe-Coburg, and thus be perpetually represented 
to the country as a foreigner. " The Queen and her foreign 
liusband, the Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha ! " 

The Queen has a right to claim that her husband should be 
an Englishman, bearing an English title, and enjoying a legal 
position which she has not to defend with a wife's anxiety 
as a usurpation against her own children, her subjects, and 
Foreign Courts. 

The question has often been discussed by me with different 
Prime Ministers and Lord Chancellors, who have invariably 
entirely agreed with me ; but the wish to wait for a good 
moment to bring the matter before Parliament has caused one 
year after another to elapse without anything being done. 
If I become now more anxious to have it settled, it is in order 
that it should be so before our children are grown up, that it 
might not appear to be done in order to guard their father's 
position against them personally, which could not fail to 
produce a painful impression upon their minds. 

If properly explained to Parliament and the country, I 
cannot foresee the slightest difficulty in getting such a neces- 
sary measure passed, particularly if it be made quite clear to 
the House of Commons that it is in no way connected with a 
desire to obtain an increased grant for the Prince. 1 


Queen Victoria to Viscount Hardinge. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 1st June 1856. 

The Queen understands that there is an attempt to be made 
to prevent the military bands from playing when the Troops 
march to church on a Sunday. 

She is anxious to express to Lord Hardinge her very strong 
feeling on this subject, and her wish that he should on no 
account give way to such a proposal. Whatever has been the 
custom should be firmly adhered to, and Lord Hardinge is 
perfectly at liberty to make use of the Queen's name, and say 
he could not bring such a proposal before her, as he knew she 
would not consent to it. 2 

1 See post, p. 196. 

2 The custom of bands playing in the public parks on Sundays had been objected to by 
various religious bodies, and in April a letter on the subject was written to Lord Palmer- 


Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 3rd June 1856. 

MY DEAREST UNCLE, I hasten to thank you for your very 
kind letter of yesterday, just received. Your kind question 
puts me into considerable perplexity, and I think I cannot 
do better than by putting you in full possession of the state of 
the case. 

Our house is very full and it is possible that we may have 
very shortly the visit of Prince Oscar of Sweden. These 
Princes have very large suites, and I should therefore in such 
a case be totally unable to lodge you and them. But there is 
another reason. While Fritz Wilhelm is here, every spare 
moment Vicky has (and / have, for I must chaperon this 
loving couple which takes away so much of my precious 
time) is devoted to her bridegroom, who is so much in love, 
that, even if he is out driving and walking with her, he is not 
satisfied, and says he has not seen her, unless he can have her 
for an hour to himself, when I am naturally bound to be acting 
as chaperon. Under these circumstances I may truly say that 
dear Charlotte would have very little enjoyment ; she would 
see very little of Vicky, / could not take care of her, and I fear 
it would be anything but agreeable for her. Fritz Wilhelm 
would besides be miserable if I took Vicky more away from 
him than I already do, and therefore while he is here, it would 
not, I think, be advisable that Charlotte should come. Could 
you not come a little in August when the Prince and Princess 
of Prussia have left us ? Or would you prefer coming in 
October, when we return from Scotland ? You will easily 
"believe, dearest Uncle, what pleasure it gives me to see you ; 
T)ut I know you will understand the reasons I here give for 
Pegging you to delay this dear visit either to August or 
October. . . . 

I had a little hope that the Archduke and Charlotte might 
take a mutual liking ; it would be such a good parti. 

We had an interesting ceremony yesterday, the laying of the 
first stone of the Wellington College which is the monument 
to the memory of the dear old Duke. Dear little Arthur 
appeared for the first time in public, and I hope you will 
approve my answer. 1 

Now, dearest Uncle, ever your truly devoted Niece, 


ston by the Archbishop of Canterbury, after which the performances were discontinued, 
the Government giving way before the threat of a vote of censure. A similar movement 
was made in opposition to the playing of regimental bands. See ante, p. 1S5. 

l The Queen's reply to an address presented to her, on behalf of the College, by Lord 


Queen Victoria to Lord Panmure. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 12th June 1856. 

The Queen and Prince had intended to take their visitors 
down to the Camp on Monday next the only day which we 
shall have for a fortnight free from other engagements and 
hears, to her utter astonishment, that all the troops are gone 
not only the Militia, but the 3rd Battalion of the Rifles ! and 
this without the Queen's hearing one word of it ! The Queen 
is the more astonished and annoyed, as Lord Panmure had 
promised that the Militia regiments should not be disembodied 
until there were other troops to replace them, which will not 
be the case for some little time. What is the cause of this 
sudden determination ? The Queen is much vexed, as her 
visitors will not stay long, and are very anxious to visit the 
Camp ; and it is of much importance that Foreign Prince 
should see what we have, and in what state of efficiency our 
troops are. 

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 26^ June 1856. 

The Queen hopes Lord Palmerston will make it quite clear 
to the subordinate Members of the Government that they 
cannot be allowed to vote against the Government proposal 
about the National Gallery to-morrow, as she hears that several 
fancy themselves at liberty to do so. 

The Earl of Derby to Queen Victoria.^ 

ST JAMES'S SQUARE, 28th June 1856. 

Lord Derby, with his humble duty . . . will be prepared., 
as well as Lord Lyndhurst, to give his cordial support to such 
a Bill as that sketched out by the Lord Chancellor ; but using 
that freedom which is invited by and due to the gracious con- 
fidence reposed in him by your Majesty, he hopes he may be 
pardoned for earnestly submitting to your Majesty's serious 
consideration the question whether it may be expedient to 
raise a discussion on such a subject during the short remainder 
of the present Session of Parliament. Measures of public 
importance already in progress are now beginning to be aban- 
doned in consequence of the advanced period of the Session, 

i The Queen had sent to Lord Derby a copy of her Memorandum, ante, p. 194, a letter 
from Lord Palmerston to herself on the same subject, and the sketch of a Bill drawn up by 
the Lord Chancellor to give effect to her wishes. On the 25th of June 1857, the title of 
" Prince Consort " was conferred on Prince Albert by Royal Letters Patent. " I should 
have preferred," wrote the Queen, " its being done by Act of Parliament, and so it may 
still be at some future period ; but it was thought better upon the whole to do it now in 
this simple way." 


and Lord Lyndhurst concurs very strongly in Lord Derby's 
apprehensions as to the result on public feeling of the intro- 
duction of such a measure at the present moment. If it could 
be stated that your Majesty contemplated a foreign visit in the 
course of the summer, which rendered it desirable that a 
measure should be passed to obviate the embarrassment which 
had been created on previous occasions of the same sort, some 
case might be made out for immediate legislation, though even 
then the question would arise why it was not thought of sooner ; 
but in the absence of any change of circumstances, and in the 
present unfortunate temper of the House of Commons, of 
which a proof was given last night, such a course would prob- 
ably lead to suspicions and remarks of the most painful char- 
acter. It would be said, and with some justice, that the 
greater the constitutional importance of a settlement, the 
greater was also the necessity of ample opportunity for 
consideration being given to Parliament ; and the hurry of 
passing the Bill would be cited as a proof that it covered 
some unavowed and objectionable design. If such suspicions 
should lead to the postponement of the measure, not only 
would the Crown have been subjected to a mortifying defeat, 
but the Bill would be open to the hostile criticisms of the 
Press during the whole summer and autumn, the effect of which 
might even endanger its ultimate success. . . . 

Should your Majesty be otherwise advised, Lord Derby will be 
ready to give the Bill his personal support, but he would be 
wanting in candour if he did not frankly state to your Majesty 
the serious apprehensions which he should entertain as to the 
result. Such an unreserved expression of his opinions is the 
only and very inadequate return which he can make to your 
Majesty for the gracious confidence with which your Majesty 
has honoured him, and for which he feels most deeply grateful. 
The above is humbly submitted by your Majesty's most 
dutiful Servant and Subject, DERBY. 

Viscount Hardinge to Queen Victoria. 

Field-Marshal Viscount Hardinge, 1 with his most humble 

l A. great review of the troops lately returned from the Crimea was held in most un- 
lavourable weather at Aldershot, on the 8th of July, King Leopold among others being 
present ; Lord Hardinge, who had brought with him the Eeport of the Military Com- 
mission which had been sitting at Chelsea, was struck by paralysis during an Audience 
with the Queen ; the next day Lord Panmure wrote : " His leg is entirely useless, and 
his right arm visibly affected. I spoke to him for a moment as he got into his carriage, 
and his head is quite clear, but his public career is closed ; and knowing his high mind 
as I do, I would not be surprised to learn that he made a communication to that effect to 
the Queen very shortly." 


duty to your Majesty, is conscious that his power of serving 
your Majesty in the high position of General Commanding-in- 
Chief has ceased in consequence of the state of his health, 
which leaves him no other course to pursue than that of 
placing in your Majesty's hands the resignation of his office, the 
duties of which his sudden and severe illness has rendered him 
incapable of performing. 

Lord Hardinge cannot take this step without thanking 
your Majesty for the great consideration and support which 
he has at all times received at a period of no ordinary difficulty,. 
and which have impressed him with such sentiments of grati- 
tude as can only cease with his life. 

All of which is most humbly submitted to your Majesty by 
your Majesty's dutiful and devoted Servant, HARD INGE. 

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, wth July 1856. 

The Queen has received the enclosed letter from Lord 
Hardinge, conveying his resignation, for which she was pre- 
pared. She asks Lord Palmerston to enable her, by the assist- 
ance of his advice, soon to appoint a successor to the important 
office of Commander-in-Chief. She has again considered the 
question, and is confirmed in her opinion that the Duke of 
Cambridge stands almost without a competitor. 

Queen Victoria to Viscount Hardinge. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, llth July 1856. 

The Queen received yesterday evening Field-Marshal Lord 
Hardinge's letter resigning his office of Commander-in-Chief. 
She cannot sufficiently express how deeply grieved she is to- 
feel that from Lord Hardinge's state of health she must accept 
his resignation. The loss of his services will be immense to- 
the Queen, the country, and the Army and she trusts that 
he is well assured of her high sense of the very valuable 
services he has long rendered. She hopes, however, that 
she may still reckon on his advice and assistance on matters- 
of importance, though he will no longer command her noble 

She cannot conclude without expressing the Prince's and her 
fervent wishes that he may rapidly recover, and his valuable 
life be long preserved to all his friends, amongst whom we shall 
ever consider ourselves. 


Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria. 

DOWNING STREET, 12th July 1856. 

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty, and begs to state that he has consulted with his 
colleagues as to the advice to be tendered to your Majesty irt 
regard to the appointment of a successor to Lord Hardinge as 
General Commanding-in-Chief ; and upon a full consideration. 
of the subject, the Cabinet are of opinion that your Majesty's- 
choice could not fall upon any General Officer better suited 
to that important position than His Royal Highness the Duke 
of Cambridge, and Lord Panmure will have the honour of 
taking your Majesty's pleasure upon the matter officially. 

It seems quite clear that there is no General Officer senior 
to His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge to whom it 
would in all respects be desirable to intrust the duties of the 
command of the Army, and there is no General Officer below 
him in seniority who has claim sufficiently strong to justify 
his being preferred to His Royal Highness. . . . 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Clarendon. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 13th July 1856. 

The Queen wishes to ask, before she sanctions this draft, 
whether the Cabinet have fully considered the consequences 
of this declaration to the Persians, which may be war ; * and 
if so, whether they are prepared to go to war with Persia, and 
have provided the means of carrying it on ? The draft itself 
the Queen approves. 

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 

OSBORXE, 21st July 1856. 

MY DEAREST UNCLE, . . . We had a delightful little 
sejour at Aldershot much favoured by fine weather. The 
first day, Wednesday, the wind was too high for me to ride, but 
the second (Thursday) we had one of the prettiest and most 
interesting field days I ever remember. I rode about everywhere 
and enjoyed it so much. On Thursday and Friday morning 
we visited the Camp. The new Troops from the Crimea which 
we saw were the 34th, 41st, and 49th, particularly fine Regi- 
ments ; the 93rd Highlanders, the 2nd Rifle Battalion, and three 
Companies of splendid Sappers and Miners, all very fine ; and 

i The Shah, availing himself of the departure of the British Minister from Teheran, 
laid siege to Herat, in direct violation of a treaty of 1853. 


the Scots Greys and Enniskillen Dragoons. The Prussians 1 
were emerveilles at the looks of our Troops on returning from 
the Crimea ! We came here on the 18th, and have really hot 

George has been appointed Commander-in-Chief. There 
was really no one who could have been put over him ; though 
in some respects it may be a weakness for the Crown, it is a 
great strength for the Army. . . . 

I fear I must end here for to-day. Ever your devoted 

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria. 

PICCADILLY, 24th July 1856. 

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty, and will give directions for the Council at Osborne 
at one o'clock on Monday, according to your Majesty's desire ; 
and he would beg to submit for your Majesty's gracious con- 
sideration that the General Commanding-in-Chief has usually 
been a Privy Councillor, and that His Royal Highness the Duke 
of Cambridge might, if your Majesty thought fit, be sworn in on 

Viscount Palmerston will communicate with Dr. Goodford, 
but he finds that he was misled by the Headmaster and one 
of the Governors of Harrow at the Speech Day ; he under- 
stood from them that an additional week's holiday would at 
his request be given to the boys at this vacation in com- 
memoration of the Peace. He has now received a, letter from 
the Governors to say that the school had an additional week on 
the occasion of the Peace at Easter, and that an additional 
week will be given, not now, but at Christmas, in commemora- 
tion of the laying the first stone of the new Chapel. If, there- 
fore, the Eton boys had an additional week at Easter in honour 
of the Peace, as the Harrow boys had, there will be no reason for 
any addition to the Eton holidays now. . . . 

Mr LaboucJiere to Queen Victoria. 

26th July 1856. 

With Mr Labouchere's humble duty to Her Majesty. Mr 
Labouchere begs to submit the following observations in reply 
to Her Majesty's enquiries respecting the Free States in the 
vicinity of the British Colonies in South Africa. 

There are two independent States there : 

(1.) The Transvaal Republic, founded by Boers who left the 

l The Prince and Princess of Prussia were on a visit to the Queen and Prince. 




Colony for the most part from ten to fifteen years ago. The 
territory on which they are established never was British. 
The Government of the day, thinking it useless and impolitic 
to pursue them there, entered into a capitulation with them 
and recognised their independent existence. They inhabit the 
plains north of the Vaal or Yellow River. 

(2.) The Orange River Free State. This occupies the 
territory between the Vaal River to the north and the Orange 
River to the south. This territory, like the former, was 
occupied originally by emigrant Boers, and was beyond the 
boundaries of the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope. But Sir 
Harry Smith, in 1849, after a severe military struggle with the 
Boers, thought proper without authority from home to annex 
it to British Dominion. 1 This annexation was ratified by Lord 
Grey, and the country remained for three or four years under 
British rule. Afterwards it was resolved to abandon it, during 
the administration of the Duke of Newcastle, as a result of the 
general revision of our affairs which took place at the conclusion 
of the Kaffir War. The Orange River Territory was recognised 
as a separate Republic in 1854. 

It is certainly true that the existence of these Free States 
may complicate our relations with the Kaffirs, and possibly 
be a source of danger to the security of British dominion in 
South Africa. But the latter danger seems very remote. 
They possess no portion of the sea coast, and are altogether a 
pastoral people, and are engaged in a constant struggle with the 
barbarous tribes in their neighbourhood. 

To retain and protect these territories would have involved 
an immense expenditure, and been attended with great diffi- 
culties. Besides, the same question would have speedily 
recurred, as these emigrant Boers would have soon gone further 
into the interior, and again have asserted their independence. 
Our present relations with both these States are very amicable. 
When Governor Sir George Grey went to the Cape all these 
questions had been finally disposed of. 2 

There seems to be good reason to hope that the appre- 
hensions of a Kaffir War will not be realised. The Colony is 
very prosperous, and is beginning to export wool in large 
quantities. The new legislature appears to be disposed to act 
harmoniously with the Governor, and to be actuated by a spirit 
of loyalty and attachment to this country. What they most 

1 See ante, vol. ii. pp. 142 and 200. 

2 Sir George Grey had been sent out by the Duke of Newcastle in 1854. He had 
previously been Governor of South Australia and New Zealand successively. He re- 
turned to New Zealand as Governor in 1861, and was Premier of the Colony, 1877-1884. 
He died in 1898, and was buried in St Paul's Cathedral. 

VOL. Ill 7* 


want is a supply of European settlers, which it is to be 
hoped that the soldiers of the German and Swiss Legions 
give them. 

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 

OSBORNE, 3(M July 1856. 

MY DEAREST UNCLE, I am much grieved to have to retract 
the permission which in my letter of yesterday I said I would 
give to Lord Westmorland. 1 When I said so, I had not received 
the opinion of the Ministers, which I have since done, and this 
is, I am sorry to say, conclusive against it. I quite overlooked 
one very important case of very late date, viz. the Plenipoten- 
tiary at Paris on whom the Emperor pressed very hard to 
confer his order in commemoration of the Peace ; but it was 
refused, and the Emperor was a good deal hurt. If now Lord 
Westmorland received the permission, the Emperor might with 
right complain. I am much grieved, dearest Uncle, at all this, 
but it was quite unavoidable, and I was at the time much 
distressed at your giving the order to Lord Westmorland as I 
foresaw nothing but difficulties. Ever your devoted Niece, 


The King of the Belgians to Queen Victoria. 

LAEKEN, 1st August 1856. 

MY DEAREST VICTORIA, . . . When your excellent Ministers 
will consider things coolly, which is not to be expected in this 
hot weather, I am sure they will come to other conclusions. 
The rule is a very wise one, and has been kept up even at the 
time of those great congresses of Paris, Vienna, and ditto Paris 
in 1815. But in cases of particular affection and feeling not 
connected with politics, there have been during the reigns of 
George IV. and William IV. exceptions. The Duke of Devon- 
shire was sent to the Coronation, I think, of the Emperor 
Nicholas, because one knew the Emperor liked him. And he 
has worn ever since that diamond star of the St Andrew of the 
largest dimensions. 

Our Napoleon is too wise not to understand that a treaty 
has a direct political character. And, during the next fifty 
years of your glorious reign, there will be most probably a great 
many more treaties and congresses. You may get all sorts of 
things during that time, but you cannot either by the power of 
heaven or of earth get a new uncle, who has kept his word 

1 King Leopold had proposed to bestow a decoration on Lord Westmorland. 


twenty-five years ; rather an undertaking considering circum- 
stances. ... I remain, my dearest Victoria, your devoted 
Uncle, LEOPOLD R. 

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 

ON BOARD THE Victoria and Albert, 
Uth August 1856. 

DEAREST UNCLE, You will be surprised to get a letter so 
soon again from me, and still more on so trivial a subject, but I 
come as a petitioner for a supply of the cakes or Oblaten which 
you kindly always send me, but which have come to a dead 
stop, having been too rapidly consumed ; all the children having 
taken to eat them. As I am not a very good breakfast eater, 
they are often the only things I can take at that time, and 
consequently I miss them much. May I therefore beg them 
to be sent ? 

We are still here ; profiting by the bad sea, to visit many 
beautiful points de vue in this really beautiful country. We 
saw yesterday one of the loveliest places possible Endsleigh 
the Duke of Bedford's, about twenty miles from here. 

The weather is so bad, and it blows so hard, that we shall 
go back to Southampton to-morrow by railroad a beautiful 
line which we have never seen. I must close in haste. Ever 
your devoted Niece, VICTORIA R. 

We went to Saltram, Lord Morley's, this afternoon. 
Earl GranviUe to Queen Victoria.^ 

MOSCOW, 30th August 1856. 

Lord Granville presents his humble duty to your Majesty, 
and begs, according to your Majesty's desire, to submit to your 
Majesty the impressions which he has received during the 
short time of his stay in this country. 

Lord Granville's conversation with the Emperor of Russia, 
and what he has heard from various reliable sources, have 
led him to the following conclusions respecting His Imperial 

He is handsome, but thinner and graver than when he was in 
England. When speaking with energy to Lord Granville his 
manner seemed to be rather an imitation of some one else than 
his own, and he did not look Lord Granville in the face. His 
usual manner is singularly gentle and pleasing. He does not 
give the idea of having much strength either of intellect or of 

1 Lord Granville was appointed head of a special mission, with the temporary rank of 
Ambassador, to attend the Coronation of the Czar Alexander. 


character, but looks intelligent and amiable. Although the 
education of a Csesarwitch must be subject to pernicious, 
influences, the present Emperor has had advantages which 
those in his position have not usually had. The Emperor 
Nicholas came to the throne without having had the confi- 
dences of his predecessor. He initiated his son into everything 
that was going on, while others who knew the good-nature of 
the Grand Duke Alexander's character, told him that which 
they did not tell his father. He was supposed to have different 
tastes from the late Emperor, but, since the death of the latter, 
he has liked the late Emperor's favourite residence which he 
himself had formerly disliked, he has taken to all the military 
pursuits of his father, and is said to have shown undignified 
haste in issuing regulations about, and in appearing in, new 
uniforms. He is liked by those who surround him, but is 
blamed for not having those habits of punctuality and of quick 
decision in business which characterised the late Emperor. 

There is still much talk of stimulants to be applied by His 
Imperial Majesty to commerce and to the development of the 
resources of the country. . . . There are persons, however, here 
well qualified to judge, who doubt whether much more will 
be performed than has formerly been done, after brilliant 
promises at the beginning of a reign. His Imperial Majesty is 
not supposed to have that power of will which will enable him 
to deal with the mass of corruption which pervades every class 
in this country. The Empress, 1 a woman of sense and ability, 
is believed to have great influence with her husband when he is 
with her, but he is generally guided by the person who speaks 
last to him before he acts and His Imperial Majesty has not 
the talent of surrounding himself with able men. His Ministers 
certainly do not appear to be men of that remarkable intellect 
as have been usually supposed to be employed by the Court 
of St Petersburg. Count Orloff is stated to have but little 
influence, and to have lost his former activity. Prince Gort- 
schakoff is clever in society, of easy conversation and some 
smartness in repartee. He is vain, a great talker, and indis- 
creet. It is difficult to keep him to the point. He flies about 
from one thing to another, and he is so loose in his talk, that 
the repetition of isolated phrases might lead to impressions of 
his meaning, which would not be correct. . . . 

The Serf Question is admitted by all to be of a very difficult 
character, and will become more so as the wealth of the country 
increases. Indeed when that state of things occurs, it is more 
than likely that popular movements will take place, and it is 

1 Marie Alexandrovna, formerly the Princess Marie of Hesse, daughter of the Grand 
Duke Louis II. 


frightful to consider the immediate results of a revolution in a 
country organised as this is at present. No country in Europe 
will furnish so fair a chance of success to Socialism. The reins 
of Government were held so tight during the last reign, that even 
the relaxation which'now exists is not altogether without danger. 

The preparations for the Coronation are on an immense scale. 
The present estimate of the expenses is 1,000,000 ; the last 
Coronation cost half that sum ; the Coronation of Alexander, 
150,000 ; while that of the Emperor Paul did not exceed 
50,000. The military household of the present Emperor 
consists of one hundred and twenty generals that of Nicholas, 
at the beginning of his reign, consisted of twenty. 

Your Majesty is spoken of by the Emperor and by the Society 
here with the greatest respect. Lord and Lady Granville have 
met with nothing but remarkable civility from all classes. 

Lord Granville has had great pleasure in seeing His Royal 
Highness Prince Frederick William of Prussia in such good 
health and spirits. His only anxiety was an interval of four- 
teen days during which His Royal Highness did not hear from 
England. That anxiety has been relieved by a letter received 
to-day. Lord Granville ventures to request your Majesty to 
present his respectful remembrances to the Princess Royal with 
Ms congratulations at Her Royal Highness's complete recovery. 
Lord Granville begs to advise Her Royal Highness, when resid- 
ing abroad, not to engage a Russian maid. Lady Wodehouse 
found hers eating the contents of a pot on her dressing-table 
it happened to be castor oil pomatum for the hair. 

Lord Granville has been requested to convey to your Majesty 
and to His Royal Highness Prince Albert the Prince of Nas- 
sau's expressions of devotion and respect. The atmosphere 
in which His Highness at present resides does not appear to 
have had much influence on His Highness's opinions. 

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria. 

ST LEONARDS, 6th September 1856. 

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty, and begs to submit for your Majesty's gracious 
approval that Dr Tait, Dean of Carlisle, should be appointed 
Bishop of London with a clear explanation to him that the 
Diocese will probably be divided into two one of London and 
one of Westminster. 

That the Bishop of Ripon 1 should be appointed Bishop of 
Durham, with a like explanation that the Diocese of Durham 

l Charles Thomas Longley (1774-1868) became Bishop of Durham 1856, Archbishop 
of York 1860, and Archbishop of Canterbury 1862. 


may possibly be divided into two one for Durham and one 
for Northumberland. 

That the Dean of Hereford * should be appointed Bishop of 
Ripon ; and that Dr Trench 2 be appointed Dean of West- 
minster with the condition that he is not to receive any fees or 
emoluments arising out of appointments of Knights of the Bath. 

Dr Trench is a man of the world and of literature, and would 
in those respects be well suited to be Dean of Westminster, and 
if his tendencies are, as some persons suppose, rather towards 
High Church opinions, his position as Dean would not afford 
him any particular means of making those opinions prevail ; 
while his appointment would show that the patronage of the 
Crown was not flowing exclusively in one direction. 

Viscount Palmerston will, on another occasion, submit to 
your Majesty the names of persons for the Deaneries of Hereford 
and Carlisle. 3 

The Duke of Cambridge to Queen Victoria. 

ST JAMES'S PALACE, 17th September 1856. 

MY DEAR COUSIN, This morning the reply from Baden 
reached me, and I hasten to inform you at once of the purport 
of it, embodied in a very excellent letter written by my sister 
Mary, who declines the proposal made to her on the part of the 
King of Sardinia, for some very excellent and weighty reasons.* 

1 Richard Dawes, who became Dean in 1850, and restored the Cathedral. He did not 
become Bishop of Ripon ; Robert Bickersteth, a Canon of Salisbury, being eventually 
appointed. See post, p. 217, note. 

2 Richard Chenevix Trench (1807-1886), Archbishop of Dublin from 1864-1884. 

3 Francis Close (1797-1882), Rector of Cheltenham, succeeded Dr Tait as Dean of 

4 The King had, in January 1855, lost his consort, Queen Marie Adelaide, daughter of 
the Archduke Renier of Austria. Lord Clarendon wrote to Baron Marochetti : ... 
" The Queen's first care was for the happiness of Princess Mary, and it was the wish of 
Her Majesty and of Her Majesty's Government that the decision should be left to the 
unbiassed judgment of Her Royal Highness. 

" Princess Mary, having maturely weighed the matter in all its different bearings, has 
come to the conclusion that it is her duty as regards both the King of Sardinia and her- 
self to decline the offer, which you were empowered to make on the part of His Majesty. 

" Princess Mary fully appreciates the many excellent and noble qualities of the King. 
She does not doubt that in him individually she would be happy, and she thinks that the 
alliance would be popular in England : but Her Royal Highness feels that as the Protestant 
Queen of Sardinia she must be in a false position, and that a wife can never find herself 
thus placed without injury to her husband. 

" Princess Mary is deeply attached to her religion, which is the first consideration in 
this world, and in the free and undisturbed exercise of that religion, however much it 
might be sanctioned by the King, and supported by His Majesty's Government, she 
feels that she would be the object of constant suspicion, that her motives would be liable 
to misconstruction, and that the King would be exposed to grave embarrassments, which 
time would only serve to increase. 

" I am not surprised at this decision, which, from my knowledge of Princess Mary's 
profound religious feeling, I rather led you to anticipate ; but I am bound to say that 
with reference to her religion, and with reference to that alone, Her Royal Highness has, 
in my opinion, decided with wisdom and foresight. 


I must confess that I fully agree with her in the view she has 
taken, and, I can say with truth, that I think her decision is a 
very judicious and very correct one, and I am not at all sorry 
she has come to it. As I know that Clarendon was very anxious 
to have an early reply, I have in the first instance sent Mary's 
letter on to him, and have requested him, after perusing it, to 
send it on to you, and I hope you will not think that I have 
been wanting in respect to you in so doing. With mary 
thanks to you for your great kindness in having left the decision 
of this weighty matter entirely in our hands, I beg to remain,, 
my dear Cousin, your most dutiful Cousin, GEORGE. 

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 

BALMORAL, 19th September 1856. 

MY DEAREST UNCLE, I cannot have your kind and con- 
fidential letter of the 15th answered, and therefore write to-day 
to thank you for it. You may rely on our divulging nothing. 
We are, however, both very anxious that dear Pedro should be 
preferred. 1 He is out and out the most distinguished young 
Prince there is, and besides that, good, excellent, and steady 
according to one's heart's desire, and as one could wish for an 
only and beloved daughter. For Portugal, too, an amiable, 
well-educated Queen would be an immense blessing, for there 
never has been one. I am sure you would be more likely to 
secure Charlotte's happiness if you gave her to Pedro than to 
one of those innumerable Archdukes, or to Prince George of 
Saxony. Pedro should, however, be written to, if you were 
favourably inclined towards him. 

I must end now, hoping soon to hear from you again. Pedro 
is just nineteen ; he can therefore well wait till he has completed 
his twentieth year. Ever your devoted Niece, 


Queen Victoria to the Empress of the French. 

Septembre 1856. 

Je regrette autant que V.M.I, les divergences existantes 
entre les vues de nos deux Gouvernements au sujet du Traite 

" I am convinced, however, that in renouncing upon conscientious grounds the brilliant 
position which has been offered to her, of which she fully appreciated the advantages, 
Princess Mary can only have added to the respect which the King already feels for the 
noble and elevated character of Her Royal Highness." 

l Both the Queen and King Leopold were desirous of arranging a marriage between 
King Pedro and the Princess Charlotte, which, however, did not take place. See post 
pp. 211, 234, and 332. 

a This is the original draft, which appears to have been modified later by the omission 
of the sentences in brackets. 


de Paris. 1 [II est impossible pour nous cependant de ceder 
aux Russes les demandes qu'ils mettent en avant, seulement 
parcequ'elles sont soutenues par la France. Le fait est que] 
Ma maniere d'envisager la situation actuelle est celle-ci : les 
Russes ne cessent de suivre la meme politique des le com- 
mencement de la complication Orientale jusqu'a present. 
Ils cedent ou la force majeure les y contraint, mais tachent 
de se reserver par des chicanes ou subterfuges les moyens de 
reprendre a un temps plus opportun leurs attaques sur 1'in- 
dependance et 1'integrite de cette pauvre Turquie. [Nous 
au contraire sommes determines.] La France et 1'Angleterre 
au contraire ont manifesto leur determination de la sauver et 
de P assurer centre ces attaques. C'etait la la cause de la guerre ; 
c'6tait la le but de la paix ; mon Gouvernement n'oserait le 
sacrifier vis-a-vis de mon peuple par complaisance envers 
1'Empereur de Russie. Un coup d'ceil sur la Carte, par 
exemple, demontre qu'en detruisant Ismail, Kilia, etc., etc. 
[(acte auquel nous ne venons qu'a present d'apprendre que 
la France avait donne son assentiment a notre insu)] la Russie 
a prive 1'aile droite de la nouvelle ligne de frontiere de toute 
defense ; tandis qu'en substituant le nouveau Bolgrad a 
celui connu au Congres elle pousserait un point strategique 
au centre, couperait la partie cedee de la Bessarabie du reste 
de 1'Empire Ottoman, et se mettrait a meme de devenir de 
nouveau maitresse de la rive gauche du Danube, quand elle 
le voudra. Comme dans ce cas [nous] nos deux pays sont 
tenus par Traite a reprendre les armes, il me parait de notre 
devoir a preVenir de tels dangers. Ces dangers seront ecartes 
a 1'instant que la France s'unira a nous pour tenir un langage 
ferme a la Russie, qui tache de nous desunir et il ne faut pas 
qu'elle y reussisse. 

Je vous exprime la toute ma pensee, sachant que 1'Empereur 
attend une franchise entiere de son amie, convaincue aussi. 
que si son opinion differe de la mienne, c'est du au moins 
d'importance qu'il attache peut-etre aux points en dispute 
avec la Russie, et a un sentiment de generosite envers un 
ennemi vaincu, auquel il me serait doux de m'abandonner 
avec lui, si je pouvais le faire de maniere a concilier les interets 
de la Turquie et de 1' Europe. 

1 The Treaty had involved the restitution of the fortress and district of Kars to Turkey. 
The Russians, however, delayed the stipulated evacuation in an unwarrantable manner. 
Ismail also was included within the portion of Bessarabia to be ceded to Turkey, but, 
instead of surrendering it intact, the Russians destroyed its fortifications ; they also lal i 
claim to Serpent's Island at the mouth of the Danube, which was within the ceded portion, 
and of Bolgrad, the future ownership of which was, owing to the inaccuracies of maps, 
in dispute. The English Government sent a fleet to the Black Sea to enforce the obliga- 
tions of the Treaty, while the French Government seemed to make unnecessary conces- 
sions to Russia. 


The Earl of Clarendon to Queen Victoria. 

TAYMOUTH, 21st September 1856. 

Lord Clarendon presents his humble duty to your Majesty, 
and humbly ventures to express his opinion that the Empress 
might think the tone of your Majesty's letter rather too severe. 
It is by no means severe, but perfectly just and true as regards 
the conduct of Russia and France, and on that very account 
it might wound the amour-propre of the Emperor. 

Lord Clarendon ventures to suggest the omission of the 
second sentence beginning by " il est impossible,' 1 '' and of the 
parenthesis at the bottom of the second page. 1 In the con- 
cluding sentence it might perhaps be better to say " la France 
et V Angleterre " instead of " nous" which would possibly 
be taken as an announcement of separate action. Your 
Majesty might perhaps think it right to add after the last 
words " tels dangers " " ces dangers seront ecartes a V instant 
que la France s'unira a nous pour tenir un langage ferme d 
la Russie qui tdche de nous desunir et il ne faut a a qu'elle y 
reussisse." 2 

Queen Victoria to the Duke of Cambridge. 

BALMORAL, 22nd September 1856. 

MY DEAR GEORGE, I waited to thank you for your letter 
of the 17th till I had received Mary's from Lord Clarendon, 
which I did yesterday morning, and which I now return to 
you. It is admirably written, and does dear Mary the greatest 
credit ; she puts it on the right ground, viz. that of the Pro- 
testant feeling which should always actuate our family, and 
to this we now must keep. It effectually closes, however, 
the door to all Catholic proposals whether from Kings or 
Princes, which makes matters easier. 

I must say, however, that I think it very wrong of certain 
ladies to have spoken of Mary's feelings and wishes on the 
subject, which has no doubt encouraged the idea when they 
had no reason for doing so. 

I am very glad that the decision has been so entirely dear 
Mary's own, and that she is convinced of my anxious wish 
for her happiness and welfare which I have as much at 
heart as if she were my own sister. 

It is very necessary, however, that not a word should be 
breathed of this whole affair, and I trust that you will caution 

1 I.e. the passage from " acte auquel " to " notre insu." 

2 The Prince wrote in reply to this letter : " The draft of letter to the Empress of the 
French has been altered in every particular as you suggest, and I will send you a corrected 
copy of it by to-morrow." See post, p. 213. 


your mother and sisters and their relations to be very silent 
on the subject, as it would be otherwise very offensive to 
the King. 

With Albert's love, ever your very affectionate Cousin, 


Queen Victoria to Viscountess Hardinge. 

BALMORAL, 26th September 1856. 

MY DEAR LADY HARDINGE, Where can I find words to 
express to you our deep heartfelt sorrow at the sad and totally 
unexpected news conveyed to us by telegraph yesterday. 1 

My first thought was for you, dear Lady Hardinge, whose 
whole existence was so completely bound up in his, that this 
blow must be awful indeed. We feel truly and sincerely what 
we, and the country, have lost in your dear, high-minded, 
noble husband, whose only thought was his duty. A more 
loyal, devoted, fearless public servant the Crown never pos- 
sessed. His loss to me is one of those which in our times is 
quite irreparable. Added to all this we have ever had such 
a true affection and personal friendship for dear Lord Hardinge, 
and know how warmly these feelings were requited. All 
who had the pleasure of knowing him must ever remember 
his benevolent smile and kind eye. 

But I speak of ourselves and of what we have lost, when 
I ought only to express our sympathy with you, in your present 
overwhelming loss, but I could not restrain my pen, and the 
expression of our feelings may perhaps be soothing to your 
bleeding heart. 

Most truly also do we sympathise with your children. 

Pray do not think of answering this yourself, but let us 
hear through your son or daughter how you are. Ever, dear 
Lady Hardinge, with the sincerest regard and truest sympathy, 
yours affectionately, VICTORIA R. 

The King of the Belgians to Queen Victoria. 

LAEKEN, 10th October 1856. 

MY DEAREST VICTORIA, Since your kind letter of the 2nd 
I have not had any communications from you. I can well 
understand that it grieves you to leave the Highlands. It 
is not a great proof of the happiness of human kind, that all 
love to be elsewhere than at the place where their real resi- 
dence is, notwithstanding all songs of home sweet home, etc. 

i Lord Hardinge, who had only temporarily rallied from the stroke he had received 
at Aldershot, died on the 24th. ' 


I plead quite guilty to this, though I used to be much attached 
to my old home at Coburg and to Claremont. That the 
weather should have been unfavourable is a great pity ; here 
we have had a most beautiful and mild weather till the 8th, 
when a severe thunderstorm put an end to it. 

Poor Lord Hardinge ! I believe after all, though all these 
people pretend not to mind it, that the Press killed him. I 
once told Lady Maryborough and the late Duchess of Welling- 
ton that it was fortunate the Duke cared so little for the Press. 
" Care little," they said ; " why, nothing annoys and irritates 
him more." I find it natural ; doing one's best, working 
with all one's nerves, and to be abused for it, is not pleasant. 

To explain the real state of dear Charlotte's affair I enclose 
the only copy of my letter which exists, and pray you kindly 
to send it me back. My object is and was that Charlotte 
should decide as she likes it, and uninfluenced by what I might 
prefer. / should prefer Pedro, that I confess, but the Arch- 
duke * has made a favourable impression on Charlotte ; I 
saw that long before any question of engagement had taken 
place. The Archduke is out at sea, and nothing can well be 
heard before the 25th of this month. If the thing takes 
place the Emperor ought to put him at the head of Venice ; 
he is well calculated for it. 

I am going on the 15th to Ardenne for a week. I have 
been since that revolution of 1848 kept away from it almost 
entirely, compared to former days. And now, with my best 
love to Albert, I must end, remaining ever, my dearest Victoria, 
your truly devoted and only Uncle, LEOPOLD R. 

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 

BAXMORAL, Uth October 1856. 

MY DEAREST UNCLE, I am truly thankful for your kind 
letter and the very confidential enclosure which I return, and 
which has interested us both very much, and is truly kind and 
paternal. I still hope by your letter that Charlotte has not 
finally made up her mind as we both feel so strongly con- 
vinced of the immense superiority of Pedro over any other 
young Prince even dans les relations journalistes, besides which 
the position is so infinitely preferable. The Austrian society 
is medisante and profligate and worthless and the Italian 
possessions very shaky. Pedro is full of resource fond of 
music, fond of drawing, of languages, of natural history, and 
literature, in all of which Charlotte would suit him, and would 

i The Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian Joseph of Austria, afterwards Emperor of 


be a real benefit to the country. If Charlotte asked me, I 
should not hesitate a moment, as I would give any of my 
own daughters to him were he not a Catholic ; and if Charlotte 
consulted her friend Vicky I know what her answer would 
be as she is so very fond of Pedro. 

I4:th. I could not finish last night, and so continue to-day. 
I shall be most anxious to hear from you about Charlotte, 
when a final decision has been taken. 

Since the 6th we have the most beautiful weather with 
the country in the most brilliant beauty but not the bracing 
weather which did one so much good ; yesterday and to-day 
it is quite warm and relaxing. Albert has continued to have 
wonderful sport ; not only has he killed seven more stags 
since I wrote, but the finest, largest stags in the whole neigh- 
bourhood or indeed killed in almost any forest ! . . . 

Ever your devoted Niece, VICTORIA R. 

Queen Victoria to Lord Panmure. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 9th November 1856. 

The Queen has received Lord Panmure's two boxes of the 
4th. She is glad to hear that the Military and the Defence 
Committees of the Cabinet are to be reassembled. The 
absence of all plans for our defences is a great evil, and hardly 
credible. There should exist a well-considered general scheme 
for each place supported by a detailed argument ; this when 
approved by the Government, should be sanctioned and 
signed by the Sovereign, and not deviated from except upon 
resubmission and full explanation of the causes which render 
such deviation necessary ; no special work should be under- 
taken which does not realise part of this general scheme. 
The Queen trusts that Lord Panmure will succeed in effecting 

It is very much to be regretted that so few of the soldiers 
of the German Legion should have accepted the liberal terms 
of the Government. Those should, however, be made to 
sail soon. 

The returns of the different Departments for the last quarter 
show a lamentable deficiency in small arms. Fifty-two 
thousand three hundred and twenty-two for the whole of 
the United Kingdom is a sadly small reserve to have in store ; 
we should never be short of 500,000. The Queen was struck 
also with the little work done at Enfield. It appears that 
during the whole quarter this new and extensive establishment 
has completed only three muskets ! 

With regard to some of the barracks, the tenders have not 


even yet been accepted, although the year is nearly drawing 
to a close. The Queen hopes soon to receive the returns for 
the Fortification Department, which is fully two months in 
arrear. . . . 

With respect to the list for the Bath, the Queen is some- 
what startled by the large number. Before sanctioning it, she 
thinks it right to ask for an explanation of the services of the 
officers, and the reasons for which they are selected for the 
honour. She returns the list for that purpose to Lord Pan- 
mure, who will perhaps cause the statement to be attached 
to each name. This, of course, does not apply to the foreigners. 
Amongst the Sardinians, however, the Queen observes the 
absence of the names of the Military Commissioners attached 
first to Lord Raglan and afterwards to General Simpson. 
The first was a Count Revel, who has frequently applied for 
the honour, and the Queen thinks ought to have it. 

The Earl of Clarendon to Queen Victoria. 

FOREIGN OFFICE, 10th November 1856. 

Lord Clarendon presents his humble duty, and humbly 
begs to transmit a letter from the Empress which was left 
here this afternoon by M. de Persigny, who also left a despatch 
from Count Walewski, of which Lord Clarendon begs to 
transmit a copy. 1 It is a most unsatisfactory result of all 
the tripotage that has been going on, as it is an invitation 
pur et simple to reassemble the conference with Prussia, and 
to abide by the decision of the majority. 

Lord Clarendon is to see M. de Persigny to-morrow morning. 

The Empress of the French to Queen Victoria. 

COMPIEGNE, le 7 Novembre 1856. 

MADAME ET TRES CHERE SCEUR, Je viens apres plus de 
deux mois m'excuser pres de votre Majeste d'une faute bien 
involontaire ; par quelques mots que Persigny m'a dit j'ai 
cru comprendre que votre Majeste s'etonnait que je ne lui 
eusse pas ecrit en reponse a sa lettre. La seule crainte d'en- 
nuyer votre Majeste m'a empeche de le faire, je croyais d'ail- 

1 Count Walewski bad written to Count Persigny : " The communications which I 
have received give us cause to fear that Her Majesty's Government may persist in declin- 
ing the proposal to reassemble the Conference. . . . We only know of five Powers which 
have had an opportunity to express an opinion on the point at issue. ... It appears 
that Sardinia has not yet formed her decision. We cannot therefore foresee in what sense 
the majority will pronounce, and it is evident to us that the reunion will realise the object 
desired, that of bringing on a decision which cannot be questioned by any one, seeing 
that it will have been obtained by the concurrence of the Representatives of all the 


leurs que vous n'aviez pas besoin d' assurances sur la bonne 
foi et surtout sur la bonne volonte de 1'Empereur. 

J'espere que grace a Dieu tous les petits differens qui ont 
surgi dans ces derniers temps s'aplaniront, car c'est 1'interet 
des deux pays, et le voeu le plus cher que nous puissions former. 1 

L'Empereur a ete bien peine d'apprendre les fausses sup- 
positions auxquelles ont donne lieu un disaccord momentaire ; 
il n'aurait jamais suppose que le desir de maintenir un engage- 
ment pris peut-etre meme trop a la hate, mais dont un honnete 
homme ne peut se departir ait pu faire croire que 1' alliance 
avec votre Majeste ne lui 'etait pas tout aussi chere et tout 
aussi precieuse qu'auparavant ; il est heureux de penser 
que la reunion de la conference sera un moyen de tout arranger, 
puisque 1' opinion de la Sardaigne n' etait pas encore connue ; 
elle creera par sa voix une majorite, et le Gouvernement 
fran9ais ne faisant rien pour influencer 1' opinion du Piemont, 
le cabinet de votre Majeste peut sans concession accepter 
cette combinaison. Je ne saurais assez dire combien pour 
ma part je suis tourmentee, car je voudrais partout et en tout 
voir nos deux pays marcher d' accord et surtout quand ils ont 
le meme but. Nous sommes a Compiegne depuis trois se- 
maines, l'Empereur chasse souvent, ce qui 1' amuse beaucoup 
et lui fait beaucoup de bien. . . . 

L'Empereur me charge de le mettre aux pieds de votre 
Majest6. Je la prie en meme temps de ne point nous oublier 
aupres du Prince Albert, et vous, Madame, croyez au tendre 
attachement que [je] vous ai voue et avec lequel je suis, Madame 
et tres chere Sceur, de votre Majeste la toute devouee Soeur, 


The Earl of Clarendon to Queen Victoria. 

FOREIGN OFFICE, llth November 1856. 

Lord Clarendon presents his humble duty to your Majesty, 
and humbly begs to transmit the letters which arrived yester- 
day together with a copy of Count Walewski's despatch. 

Lord Clarendon begs to return his thanks to your Majesty 
for allowing him to see the Empress's letter. . . . The letter 
does not seem to require an answer at present. 

Lcrd Clarendon had a conversation of two hours this morn- 
ing with M. de Persigny, who fought all his battles o'er again, 

1 Besides the complications arising out of the procrastination of Russia, in carrying out 
the Treaty of Paris, an international difficulty had lately arisen in Switzerland. A rising, 
professedly in defence of the hereditary interests of the King of Prussia, took place in 
the Canton of Neuchatel, but was suppressed, and some of the insurgents taken prisoners 
by the Republican Government. The King of Prussia virtually expressed his approval 
of the movement by claiming the liberation of the prisoners, and his action was, to some 
extent, countenanced by the French Emperor. The matter was finally adjusted in 1857. 

1856] M. DE PERSIGNY 215 

but did not say much beyond what Lord Cowley had reported. 
He is quite sure that the Emperor is as staunch as ever to 
the Alliance, and that he believes all his own personal interests 
as well as those of France are bound up with England. He 
said, too, that the Empress was not the least taken in by the 
flatteries of Russia, which she estimates at their juste valeur. 

M. de Persigny seems to have performed an act of painful 
duty and rather of true devotion, by giving the Empress some 
advice about her own conduct and the fate she was preparing 
for herself if she was not more properly mindful of her position 
and the obligations it entails. Lord Clarendon has seldom 
heard anything more eloquent or more touching than the 
language of M. de Persigny in describing what he said to the 
Empress, who appears to have taken it in the best part, and 
to have begun acting upon the advice the next day. M. de 
Persigny has no doubt that Count Walewski will soon be 
removed from his present office, and will be promoted to St. 
Petersburg, but Lord Clarendon will wait to believe this until 
it is a fait accompli, as it is more likely than not that when 
M. de Persigny is no longer on the spot to urge the Emperor, 
Count Walewski will resume his influence. 

Count Walewski' s despatch made a very unfavourable im- 
pression upon the Cabinet, who were of opinion that upon 
such an invitation and such slender assurances respecting the 
course that Sardinia might take, we ought not to give up our 
solid and often repeated objections to reassembling the Con- 
gress at all events it was considered that we ought to have a 
positive answer from Turin before we gave a final answer. . . . 

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria. 

PICCADILLY, IZth November 1856. 

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty, and begs to state that Sir Alexander Cockburn 1 
accepts the office of Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, but 
expresses a strong wish not altogether to be shut out from 
Parliamentary functions. His health, which has frequently 
interfered with his attendance in the House of Commons, 
makes him feel uncertain as to the future, and he is not desirous 
of being immediately placed in the House of Lords, but he 
would be glad to be allowed to look forward to such a favour 
from your Majesty at some future time if he should find his 

1 Sir Alexander Cockburn's parliamentary success dated from his speech in the Don 
Pacifico debate ; see ante, vol. ii. p. 252, note 2. He was made Solicitor-General shortly 
after, and then Attorney-General, being reappointed to the latter office in the end of 
1852. He had defended both McNaghten and Pate for attacks on the Queen's person. 
The uncle whom he soon afterwards succeeded as baronet was now Dean of York. 


health stand sufficiently good to give him a fair prospect of 
being useful in the House of Lords. He says that with the 
Baronetcy of an uncle he will succeed to an estate of 5,000 a 
year, independent of what he has realised by his own profes- 
sional exertions ; and that consequently there w r ould be a 
provision for a Peerage. Viscount Palmerston begs to sub- 
mit for your Majesty's gracious approval that such a prospect 
might be held out to Sir Alexander Cockburn. The Chancellor 
and Lord Lansdowne and Lord Granville concur with Viscount 
Palmersfon in thinking that much public advantage would 
arise from the presence of both Sir Alexander Cockburn, and of 
the Master of the Rolls, 1 in the House of Lords, and there are 
numerous precedents for the Chief Justice of the Common 
Pleas, and for the Master of the Rolls being Peers of Parlia- 
ment. 2 Their judicial duties would no doubt prevent them 
from sitting in the morning on appeal cases, but their presence 
in the evening in debates in which the opinions and learning 
of men holding high positions in the legal profession would be 
required, could not fail to be of great public advantage. Of 
course any expectation to be held out to Sir Alexander Cock- 
burn would for the present be a confidential and private 
communication to himself. . 

The King of the Belgians to Queen Victoria. 

LA.EKEN, 2lst November 1856. 

MY DEAREST VICTORIA, On Vicky's sixteenth birthday I 
cannot write on black-edged paper, it looks too gloomy, and 
I begin by wishing you joy on this day, with the sincere hope 
that it will also dans Vavenir prove to you one of satisfaction 
and happiness. I must now turn to your kind and affectionate 
letter of the 19th. I was sure that your warm heart would 
feel deeply the loss we have sustained. 3 You must, however, 
remember that you were ever a most affectionate sister, and 
that Charles was fully aware and most grateful for these your 
kind and sisterly sentiments. The real blow was last year ; 
if that could have been mitigated, life might have been pre- 
served under tolerable circumstances. As things, however, 
proceeded, if the present attack could have been warded off, 
Charles's existence would have been one of the most awful 
suffering, particularly for one whose mental disposition was 
quick and lively. Your sentiments on this occasion do 
you honour ; it is by feelings like those you express that evi- 

1 Sir John Romilly, created a peer in 1866. 

2 E.g., Lord El don in the former office ; Lord Langdale in the latter. 

3 The Queen's half-brother, Prince Charles of Leiningen, had died on the 13th. 


dently der Ankniipfungspunkt with a future life must be looked 
for, and that alone with such sentiments we can show our- 
selves fit for such an existence. 

For your precious health we must now claim that you will 
not permit your imagination to dwell too much on the very 
melancholy picture of the last moments of one whom you 
loved, however natural it may be, and however difficult it is 
to dismiss such ideas. 

Feo feels all this in a most beautiful and truly pious way. 
It is strange that November should be so full of sad anniver- 
saries. I can well understand what Vicky must have suffered, 
as it could not be expected that Fritz Wilhelm could quite 
understand her grief. . . . 

Now I must leave you, remaining ever, my beloved Victoria, 
your truly devoted Uncle, LEOPOLD R. 

My best love to Albert. 

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 24th November 1856. 

The Queen approves the recommendation of Mr Bickersteth * 
for the vacant Bishopric of Ripon, but she cannot disguise 
from herself that however excellent a man Mr Bickersteth may 
be, his appointment will be looked upon as a strong party one, 
as he is one of the leaders of the Low Church Party ; but 
perhaps Lord Palmerston may be able in the case of possible 
future appointments to remove any impression of the Church 
patronage running unduly towards party extremes. 

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 26th November 1856. 

MY DEABEST UNCLE, I was again prevented from writing 
to you yesterday as I intended, by multitudinous letters, etc. 
I therefore come only to-day with my warmest thanks for your 
most kind, feeling, and sympathising letter of the 23rd, which 
I felt deeply. 

Poor dear Charles, I loved him tenderly and dearly, and feel 
every day more how impossible it is that the great blank caused 
by his loss should ever be filled up, and how impossible it is to 
realise the dreadful thought that I shall never see his dear, 
dear face again in this world ! All the accounts of his peaceful 
death, of his fine and touching funeral, seem to me to be the 

i Mr Bickersteth (a nephew of Lord Langdale, a former Master of the Rolls) was then 
Rector of St Giles'. Lord Palmerston had written that he thought him well qualified 
for a diocese " full of manufacturers, clothier-workmen, Methodists, and Dissenters." 


descriptions of another person's death and burial not poor 
dear Charles's. 

Don't fear for my health, it is particularly good and grief 
never seems to affect it ; little worries and annoyances fret 
and irritate me, but not great or sad events. And I derive, 
benefit and relief both in my body and soul in dwelling on the 
sad object which is the one which fills my heart ! The having to 
think and talk of other and indifferent things (I mean not busi- 
ness so much) is very trying to my nerves, and does me harm. 

Vicky is well again, and the young couple seem really very 
fond of each other. We have from living [together] for twelve 
days as we did entirely alone with him and Vicky in our own 
apartments got to know him much more intimately, and to 
be much more a notre aise with him than we could be in the 
London season, and he is now quite V enfant de la maison ! 
He is excellent and very sensible. I hope that you may be 
equally pleased and satisfied with your future son-in-law. 

I must now conclude in great haste ; excellent Stockmar is 
particularly well and brisk. Ever your devoted Niece, 


Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston. 

OSBORKE, Sth December 1856. 

Lord Palmerston's explanation of Lord Panmure's object 
in proposing the appointment of a Director-General of Educa- 
tion of the Army in the Civil Department' of its Government 
has but confirmed the Queen's apprehensions as to the effect 
of that step, if sanctioned. The Queen has for some time 
been expecting the proposal of a well-digested and considered 
plan for the education of the officers of the Army, and knows 
that the Duke of Cambridge has had such a one elaborated. 
Surely, in the absence of any fixed and approved system of 
education, it would be most imprudent to establish an Office 
for the discharge of certain important functions which are not 
yet defined. The Queen must therefore ask that the system 
of education to be in future adopted should first be submitted 
to her, and afterwards only the plan for the machinery which 
is to carry this out, the fitness of which can only be properly 
judged of with reference to the object in view. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Clarendon. 

OSBORNE, 12th December 1856. 

The Queen returns the enclosed letters. Sir H. Bulwer's 
is a clever composition, showing his wit and powers of writing. 


The Queen has never, however, seen anything from him pro- 
ducing the impression that great and important affairs would, 
be safe in his hands. 

The mission to Washington will be difficult to fill. 1 Is it 
necessary to be in a hurry about it ? Lord Elgin is sure to 
perform the duties very well, but is his former position as. 
Governor-General of Canada not too high for him to go to 
Washington as Minister ? . . . 

Memorandum by Queen Victoria. 

OSBORNE, If/fi December 1856. 

The Queen has seen the Memorandum which the Maharajah 
Dhuleep Singh has sent to the East India Company ; she 
thinks all he asks very fair and reasonable, and she trusts that- 
the East India Company will be able to comply with them, 
As we are in complete possession since 1849 of the Maha- 
rajah's enormous and splendid Kingdom, the Queen thinks we 
ought to do everything (which does not interfere with the 
safety of her Indian dominions) to render the position of this- 
interesting and peculiarly good and amiable Prince as agreeable 
as possible, and not to let him have the feeling that he is a, 

His being a Christian and completely European (or rather 
more English) in his habits and feelings, renders this muck 
more necessary, and at the same time more easy. 

The Queen has a very strong feeling that everything should 
be'done to show respect and kindness towards these poor fallen. 
Indian Princes, whose Kingdoms we have taken from them, 
and who are naturally very sensitive to attention and kindness. 

Amongst all these, how r ever, the Maharajah stands to a 
certain degree alone, from his civilisation, and likewise from 
his having lost his kingdom when he was a child entirely by 
the faults and misdeeds of others. 2 

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston. 

OSBORNE, 18th December 1856. 

In answer to Lord Palmerston' s explanation with regard to- 

1 A complaint had been made by the Government of the United States of the unlawful 
enlistment in that country of recruits for the English army, and Mr Crampton, the- 
British Minister at Washington, had been dismissed. Diplomatic relations were resumed 
after a suspension of some months ; and Lord Napier was appointed British Minister in. 
March 1857. 

2 In reply, Mr Vernon Smith stated that he had brought all the Queen's wishes before 
the Company. 


Colonel Lefroy's 1 appointment, the Queen has to say, that if 
he is to be made Inspector of Regimental Schools, she has no 
objection ; but she must protest against his being made Director 
of Education for the Army generally. We want a Director- 
General of Education very much, but he ought to be 
immediately under the Commander-in-Chief, if possible a 
General Officer of weight, assisted by a Board of Officers of 
the different Arms. 

Education ought to be made one of the essential requisites 
of an officer, and the reports on his proficiency ought to go direct 
through the proper superior from the bottom to the top, par- 
ticularly if selection by merit is to receive a greater application 
for the future. If for his military proficiency and moral 
discipline, an officer is to be responsible to his Military chief, 
but for his mental acquirements to a Civil department, the 
unity of the system will be broken and the Army ruined ; and 
this must be the case if the superintendence of the education 
is separated from the Military command. 

The subject of Military Education has, as Lord Palmerston 
says, often been discussed in Parliament, which expects that 
some sufficient arrangement shall be made for it. But the 
mere creation of a place for an officer, however meritorious, to 
find him an equivalent for one which has to be reduced, can 
hardly be so called, and may even defeat the object itself. 
This subject is a most important one, and ought to be 
thoroughly examined before acting. The Queen understands 
that the Duke of Cambridge has transmitted to Lord Panmure 
a complete scheme, which must be now before him. If Lord 
Palmerston, Lord Panmure, the Duke of Cambridge, and the 
Prince were to meet to consider this scheme, and the whole 
question in connection with it, the Queen would feel every 
confidence that a satisfactory decision would be arrived at. 

The Emperor of the French to Queen Victoria. 


MADAME ET TBES CHERE SCEUB, Le Prince Frederic Guil- 
laume m'a remis la lettre que votre Majeste a bien voulu lui 
dormer pour moi. Les expressions si amicales employees par 
votre Majeste m'ont vivement touche et quoique je fusse 
persuade que la diversite d' opinion de nos deux Gouvernements 
ne pouvait en rien alterer vos sentiments a mon egard, j'ai ete 
heureux d'en recevoir la douce confirmation. Le Prince de 

1 John Henry Lefroy, who now became Inspector-General of Army Schools, was au 
artillery officer of considerable scientific attainmenta. Many years later he was K.O.M.G. 
and Governor of Tasmania. 

1856] BESSARABIA 221 

Prusse nous a beaucoup plu et je ne doute pas qu'il ne fasse le 
bonheur de la Princesse Roy ale, car il me semble avoir toutes 
les qualites de son age et de son rang. Nous avons tach6 de 
lui rendre le sejour de Paris aussi agreable que possible, mais 
je crois que ses pensees etaient tou jours a Osborne ou a Windsor. 

II me tarde bien que toutes les discussions relatives au Trait6 
de Paix aient un terme, car les partis en France en profitent 
pour tenter d'affaiblir 1'intimite de 1'alliance. 1 Je ne doute pas 
neanmoins que le bon sens populaire en fasse promptement 
justice de toutes les faussetes qu'on a repandues. 

Votre Majeste, je 1'espere, ne doutera jamais de mon desir de 
marcher d' accord avec son Gouvernement et du regret que 
j'eprouve quand momentairement cet accord n'existe pas. 

En la priant de presenter mes hommages a S. A.R. la Duchesse 
de Kent et mes tendres amities au Prince, je lui renouvelle 
1' assurance de la sincere amitie et de 1'entier devouement avec 
lesquels je suis, de votre Majeste, le bon Frere et Ami, 


The Earl of Clarendon to Queen Victoria. 

THE GROVE, 22nd December 1856. 

Lord Clarendon presents his humble duty to your Majesty, 
and humbly begs to transmit a letter from Lord Cowley, which 
contains the report of a curious conversation with the Emperor, 
and which might make a despatch not very unlike Sir H. Sey- 
mour's when he reported the partitioning views of the Emperor 
Nicholas. 2 

It is curious that in both cases the bribe to England should 
be Egypt. The Emperor of the French said nothing about 
the share of the spoils that France would look for, but His 
Majesty means Morocco, and Marshal Vaillant 3 talked to Lord 
Clarendon of Morocco as necessary to France, just as the 
Americans declare that the United States are not safe without 
Cuba. . . . 

Queen Victoria to the Emperor of the French. 

CHATEAU DE WINDSOR, le 31 Decembre 1856. 

SIRE ET CHER FRERE, Je saisis avec empressement 1' occa- 
sion de la nouvelle annee pour remercier votre Majeste de son 
aimable lettre, en vous priant d'agreer mes bons voeux autant 

1 A settlement with Russia of the disputed Bessarabian frontier was at length decided 
upon, on lines suggested by the Emperor to the British Government. 

2 See ante p. 26. The Queen does not appear to have preserved a copy of Lord Cowley's 

3 Minister of War. 


pour le bonheur de V.M. que pour celui de I'lmperatrice et 
de votre fils. 

La nouvelle annee commence encore avec le bruit des pre- 
paratifs de guerre, mais j'espere qu'on restera aux preparatifs 
et apres le rapprochement qui a eu lieu entre vous, Sire, et la 
Prusse, j'ai toute confiance qu'il vous sera possible d'assurer 
une solution pacifique de cette question Suisse, 1 malheureuse- 
inent envenimee par 1' amour-propre froisse de tous cotes. 

Je suis bien heureuse que nos difficultes survenues a 1' execu- 
tion du Traite de Paris soient maintenant entierement aplanies 
t que ce que V.M. signalait dans votre lettre comme une 
esperance soit a present une realite. Rien ne viendra desor- 
mais, je 1'espere, troubler notre bonne entente qui donne une 
garantie si importante au bien-etre de 1'Europe. Nous avons 
ete bien contents d'apprendre que notre futur gendre vous ait 
tant plu ; il nous a ecrit plein de reconnaissance de 1'aimable 
accueil que vous lui avez donne et plein d' admiration de tout 
ce qu'il a vu a Paris. 

Ma mere se remet peu a peu de la terrible secousse qu'elle a 
eprouvee, et me charge ainsi que le Prince de leurs felicitations 
pour le jour de 1'an. 

J'embrasse 1'Imperatrice et me dis pour toujours, Sire et 
cher Frere, de V.M.I., la bien affectionnee Sceur, et fidele Amie, 


l See ante, p. 214, note. 


THE closing months of 1856 had witnessed the beginning of a 
dispute with China, a party of Chinese having boarded the lorcha 
Arrow, a vessel registered under a recent ordinance of Hong Kong, 
arrested the crew as pirates, and torn down the British flag. The 
Captain's right to fly the flag was questionable, for the term of 
registry, even if valid in the first instance, which was disputed, had 
expired (though the circumstance was unknown to the Chinese 
authorities), and the ship's earlier history under the Chinese flag 
had been an evil one. But Sir John Bowring, British Plenipoten- 
tiary at Hong Kong, took punitive measures to enforce treaty obli- 
gations ; Admiral Seymour destroyed the forts on the river, and 
occupied the island and fort of Dutch Folly. In retaliation, the 
Chinese Governor Yeh put a price on Bowring's head, and his 
assassination, and that of other residents, by poison, was attempted. 
The British Government's action, however, was stigmatised as high- 
handed, and a resolution censuring them was carried in the Com- 
mons, being moved by Mr Cobden and supported by a coalition of 
Conservatives, Peelites, and the Peace Party, Lord John Russell 
also opposing the Government. In consequence of this vote, 
Parliament was dissolved, and at the ensuing election the Peace 
Party was scattered to the winds ; Bright, Milner Gibson, and 
Cobden all losing their seats. Lord Palmerston obtained a trium- 
phant majority in the new House of Commons, of which Mr J. E. 
Denison was elected Speaker in succession to Mr Shaw-Lefevre, now 
created Viscount Eversley. At the end of the year an ultimatum 
was sent to Governor Yeh, requiring observance of the Treaty of 
Nankin, Canton was bombarded, and subsequently occupied by the 
English and French troops. 

Hostilities with Persia were terminated by a treaty signed at Paris ; 
the Shah engaging to abstain from interference in Afghanistan, and 
to recognise the independence of Herat. 

A century had passed since the victory of Clive at Plassey, but the 
Afghan disasters and the more recent war with Russia had caused 
doubts to arise as to British stability in India, where the native forces 
were very large in comparison with the European. Other causes, 
among which may be mentioned the legalising of the remarriage of 
Hindoo widows, and a supposed intention to coerce the natives into 
Christianity, were operating to foment dissatisfaction, while recent 
acts of insubordination and symptoms of mutiny had been inade- 



quately repressed ; but the immediate visible provocation to mutiny 
among the Bengal troops was the use of cartridges said to be treated 
with a preparation of the fat of pigs and cows, the use of which was 
abhorrent, on religious grounds, both to Hindoos and Mohammedans. 
The Governor-General assured the Sepoys by proclamation that no 
offence to their religion or injury to their caste was intended ; but 
on the 10th of May the native portion of the garrison at Meerut 
broke out in revolt. The Mutineers proceeded to Delhi, and were 
joined by the native troops there ; they established as Emperor the 
octogenarian King, a man of unscrupulous character, who had been 
living under British protection. 

Great cruelties were practised on the European population of all 
ages and both sexes, at Lucknow, Allahabad, and especially Cawn- 
pore ; by the end of June, the Sepoys had mutinied at twenty-two 
stations the districts chiefly affected being Bengal, the North-West 
Provinces, and Oudh. To cope with this state of things, a large body 
of British soldiers on their way to China were diverted by Lord Elgin 
to India, and a force of 40,000 men was despatched from England 
round the Cape ; while Sir Colin Campbell was sent out as Comman- 
der-in-Chief. Meanwhile reinforcements had been drawn from the 
Punjab, which had remained loyal. Lucknow was for a long time 
besieged by the rebels, and Sir Henry Lawrence, its gallant defender, 
killed. The garrison was reinforced on the 25th of September by 
General Havelock ; but the non-combatants could not be extricated 
from their perilous position till November, when the Garrison was 
relieved by Sir Colin Campbell. Delhi was taken in the course 
of September, but a considerable period elapsed before the rebellion 
was finally suppressed. Summary vengeance was inflicted on the 
Sepoy rebels, which gave rise to some criticism of our troops for 
inhumanity ; but Lord Canning, the Governor-General, was no less 
severely blamed for his clemency ; and the general verdict was in 
favour of the measures adopted by the military and civilian officers, 
whose zeal and capacity suppressed the Mutiny. 

Before the Dissolution of Parliament, Mr Gladstone and Mr 
Disraeli had joined in an attack on the budget of Sir George Lewis, 
and the Peelite ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer seemed for the 
moment disposed definitely to return to the Conservative party. 
To the Divorce Bill, the chief legislative result of the second Session, 
Mr Gladstone gave a persistent and unyielding opposition : but it 
passed the Commons by large majorities ; a Bill for the removal of 
Jewish disabilities was much debated, but not carried. In August, 
another visit, this time of a private character, was paid by the 
Emperor and Empress of the French to the Queen at Osborne. In 
the middle of November a series of commercial disasters of great 
magnitude took place. The Government, as in 1847, authorised the 
infringement for a time of the Bank Charter Act, and a third session 
was held to pass an Act of Indemnity. 


Queen Victoria to Mr Labouchere. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 8th January 1857. 

THE despatches from Sir George Grey 1 which the Queen 
returns are most interesting. The two chief objects to accom- 
plish appear to be the bringing the Kaffirs in British Kanraria 
within the pale of the law, so that they may know the blessings 
of it and the re-absorption, if possible, of the Orange River 
Free State. To both these objects the efforts of the Govern- 
ment should be steadily directed. 

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria. 

BROADLANDS, IZth January 1857. 

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty, and he and Lady Palmerston will have the honour of 
waiting upon your Majesty as soon as he is able to move. He 
is, however, at present on crutches, and can hardly expect to 
be in marching order for some few days to come. With regard 
to the matters that are likely to be discussed when Parliament 
meets, Viscount Palmerston would beg to submit that the one 
which has for some months past occupied the attention of all 
Europe, namely, the execution of the Treaty of Paris, has been 
settled in a manner satisfactory to all parties ; and this is not 
only a great relief to the Government, but is also a security 
for the continuance of the Anglo-French Alliance, which would 
have been greatly endangered by the discussions and explana- 
tions that might otherwise have been forced on. 

The various questions of difference between your Majesty's 
Government, and that of the United States, have also been 
settled, and the diplomatic relations between the two countries 
are about to be replaced upon their usual footing. This result 
will have given great satisfaction to the commercial and manu- 
facturing interests. 

1 See ante, pp. 200-1. The task of dealing with the Hottentots and Kaffirs, and 
coining to an understanding with the recalcitrant Boers, was a difficult one. 

VOL. ill 225 8 


Some discussion will take place as to the Expedition to the 
coast of Persia, and some persons will, of course, find fault with 
the whole policy pursued on that matter ; but people in general 
will understand that Herat is an advanced post of attack against 
British India, and that whatever belongs nominally to Persia 
must be considered as belonging practically to Russia, whenever 
Russia may want to use it for her own purposes. 

The outbreak of hostilities at Canton * was the result of the 
decision of your Majesty's officers on the spot, and not the con- 
sequence of orders from home. The first responsibility must 
therefore rest with the local authorities, but Viscount Palmer- 
ston cannot doubt that the Government will be deemed to 
have acted right in advising your Majesty to approve the pro- 
ceedings, and to direct measures for obtaining from the Chinese 
Government concessions which are indispensable for the main- 
tenance of friendly relations between China and the Govern- 
ments of Europe. 

Of domestic questions, that which will probably be the most 
agitated will be a large and immediate diminution of the 
Income Tax ; but any such diminution would disturb the 
financial arrangements of the country, and it is to be hoped 
that Parliament will adopt the scheme which will be proposed 
by Sir G. C. Lewis, by which the Income Tax would be made 
equal in each of the next three years, the amount now fixed 
by Law for 1857 being diminished, but the amount now 
fixed by Law for 1858 and 1859 being increased. . . . 

Viscount Palmerston hears from persons likely to know, that 
the Conservative Party are not more united than they were last 
Session. That Mr Disraeli and the great bulk of his nominal 
followers are far from being on good terms together, and that 
there is no immediate junction to be expected between Mr 
Disraeli and Mr Gladstone. 2 

Mr Cobden has given it to be understood that he wishes at 
the next General Election to retire from the West Riding of 
Yorkshire. The real fact being that the line he took about the 
late war has made him so unpopular with his constituents that 
he would probably not be returned again. 3 

Viscount Palmerston has heard privately and confidentially 
that Lord John Russell wrote some little time ago to the Duke 

1 See Introductory Note, ante, p. 223. The difficulty with China had arisen out of her 
refusal to throw open the city of Canton to European trade in conformity with the Treaty 
of Nankin, ante, vol. i. p. 441. Sir John Bowring, Chief Superintendent of Trade (and, 
in effect, British Plenipotentiary) at Hong- Kong, had resented this, and the feeling thus 
engendered had come to a crisis on the occasion of the seizure of the crew of the Arrow. 

2 The probability of this combination was now being perpetually mooted, and, in fact, 
the two ex-Chancellors combined in attacking the Budget. 

3 He stood instead for Huddersfield, and was defeated by an untried politician ; one 
Liberal (the present Lord Bipon) and one Conservative were returned unopposed in the 
West Riding. 


of Bedford to say that it had been intimated to him that an 
offer would be made to him if he were disposed to accept it, to 
go to the House of Lords and to become there the Leader of 
the Government. In case your Majesty may have heard this 
report, Viscount Palmerston thinks it right to say that no such 
communication to Lord John Russell was ever authorised by 
him, nor has been, so far as he is aware, ever made, and in truth 
Viscount Palmerston must candidly say that in the present 
state of public opinion about the course which Lord John has 
on several occasions pursued, he is not inclined to think that 
his accession to the Government would give the Government 
any additional strength. 

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 25th February 1857. 

The Queen would wish to know before she approves of the 
appointment of Mr Alford, of Quebec Chapel, to the head 
Deanery of Canterbury, whether he is a very Low Churchman, 
as Lord Palmerston will remember that he agreed in her 
observation after the appointment of several of the Bishops, 
that it would be advisable to choose those who were of moderate 
opinions not leaning too much to either side. Extreme 
opinions lead to mischief in the end, and produce much discord 
in the Church, which it would be advisable to avoid. 1 

With respect to the Garter, which the Duke of Norfolk has 
declined, she approves of its being offered to the Duke of 
Portland. 2 She thinks that the one now vacant by the death 
of poor Lord Ellesmere 3 might most properly be bestowed on 
Lord Granville he is Lord President and Leader of the House 
of Lords, and acquitted himself admirably in his difficult 
mission as Ambassador to the Emperor of Russia's Coronation. 

Should Lord Palmerston agree in this view he might at once 
mention it to Lord Granville. 

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria. 

PICCADILLY, 28th February 1857. 

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty, and has seen Mr Hayter 4 this morning, and finds from 

1 The Deanery was offered to and accepted by Mr Alford. 

2 William John Cavendish Bentinck-Scott, fifth Duke (1800-1879). He did not accept 
the honour, which was conferred OH the Marquis of Westminster. 

3 Lord Francis Egerton had inherited a vast property from the third and last Duke 
of Bridgewater (the projector of English inland navigation), and was created Earl of 
Ellesmere in 1846. The Garter was accepted by Lord Granville. 

* Mr (afterwards Sir) William Hayter, Liberal Whip, the father of Lord Haversham. 


him that the disposition of the House of Commons is improving, 
and that many of the supporters of the Government who had 
at first thought of voting with Mr Cobden * are changing their 
minds. It has been suggested to Viscount Palmerston that it 
would be useful to have a meeting of the Party in Downing 
Street on Monday, and that many wavering members only 
want to have something said to them which they could quote 
as a reason for changing their intended course ; and Viscount 
Palmerston has given directions for summoning such a meeting. 
Lord Derby has had meetings of his followers, and has told 
them that unless they will support him in a body he will cease 
to be their leader, as he will not be the head of a divided Party. 
Viscount Palmerston can scarcely bring himself to believe that 
the House of Commons will be so fickle as suddenly and without 
reason to turn round upon the Government, and after having 
given them last Session and this Session large majorities on 
important questions, put them in a minority on what Mr Dis- 
raeli last night in a few words said on the motion for adjourn- 
ment described as a Vote of Censure. With regard, however, 
to the question put by your Majesty as to what would be the 
course pursued by the Government in the event of a defeat, 
Viscount Palmerston could hardly answer it without delibera- 
tion with his colleagues. His own firm belief is that the present 
Government has the confidence of the country in a greater 
degree than any other Government that could now be formed 
would have, and that consequently upon a Dissolution of 
Parliament, a House of Commons would be returned more 
favourable to the Government than the present. Whether the 
state of business as connected with votes of supply and the 
Mutiny Act would admit of a Dissolution, supposing such a 
measure to be sanctioned by your Majesty, would remain to be 
enquired into ; but Viscount Palmerston believes that there 
would be no insurmountable difficulty on that score. He will 
have the honour of waiting upon your Majesty at a little before 
three to-morrow. 

The Prince Albert to Viscount Palmerston. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 3rd March 1857. 

MY DEAR LORD PALMERSTON, The Queen has this moment 
received your letter giving so unfavourable an account of the 
prospects of to-night's division. She is sorry that her health 

1 See Introductory Note, ante, p. 223. Mr Oobden's motion of censure affirmed that 
the papers laid on the table of the House did not justify the violent measures resorted 
to by the Government at Canton in the affair of the Arrow. He was supported by Lord 
John Russell, Mr Roebuck, Mr Gladstone, and Mr Disraeli, the latter emphatically 
challenging the Premier to appeal to the country. 


imperatively requires her going into the country for a few days, 
and having put off her going to Windsor on account of the 
Debate which was expected to close yesterday, she cannot now 
do so again to-day. She feels, however, the inconvenience of 
her absence should the division turn out as ill as is now antici- 
pated. The Queen could not possibly come to a decision on so 
important a point as a Dissolution without a personal discussion 
and conference with you, and therefore hopes that you might 
be able to go down to-morrow perhaps for dinner and to stay 
over the night. 

The Queen feels herself physically quite unable to go through 
the anxiety of a Ministerial Crisis and the fruitless attempt 
to form a new Government out of the heterogeneous elements 
out of which the present Opposition is composed, should the 
Government feel it necessary to offer their resignation, and 
would on that account prefer any other alternative. . . . Ever, 
etc., ALBERT. 

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria.*- 

HOUSE OP COMMONS, 5th March 1857. 
(Quarter to Eight.) 

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty, and begs to state that his communication to the House 
of an intention to give the constituencies of the country an 
opportunity of judging between the present Government and 
any other administration which might be formed, has been on 
the whole well received, and, with the exception of Mr Glad- 
stone, most of the persons who spoke intimated a willingness 
to allow without interruption the completion of such business 
as may be necessary before the Dissolution. Mr Disraeli said 
that he and those who act with him would give all fair assistance 
consistent with their opinions, but hoped nothing would be 
proposed to which they could reasonably object. Mr Glad- 
stone, with great vehemence, repelled the charge of combina- 
tion, evidently meaning to answer attacks made out of the 
House. . . . 

The result of what passed seems to be that no serious diffi- 
culty will be thrown in the way of an early Dissolution. 

Earl Granville to Queen Victoria. 

[Undated. ? 16th March 1857.] 

Lord Granville presents his humble duty to your Majesty, 
and begs to submit that Lord Derby made a speech of two 

1 Mr Cobden's motion was carried by 263 to 247, and Lord Palmerston promptly 
accepted Mr Disraeli's challenge to dissolve Parliament. 


hours, in which he glanced at the present state of affairs. 1 He 
made a personal attack on Lord Palmerston, and described his 
colleagues as cyphers and appendages. The rest of his speech 
was of a singularly apologetic and defensive character. He was 
quite successful in clearing himself from an understanding 
not from political conversations with Mr Gladstone. 

Lord Granville, in his reply, was thought very discourteous 
by Lord Malmesbury and Lord Hardwicke, who closed the 

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria. 2 

PICCADILLY, I8tf March 1857. 

. . . Viscount Palmerston begs to state that the Speaker 
has chosen the title of Eversley, the name of a small place near 
his residence 3 in Hampshire, all the large towns in the county 
having already been adopted as titles for Peers. The or- 
dinary course would be that your Majesty should make him 
a Baron, and that is the course which was followed in the cases 
of Mr Abbot made Lord Colchester, and Mr Abercromby made 
Lord Dunfermline ; but in the case of Mr Manners Sutton a 
different course was pursued, and he was made Viscount 
Canterbury. The present Speaker is very anxious that his 
services, which, in fact, have been more meritorious and useful 
than those of Mr Manners Sutton, should not appear to be con- 
sidered by your Majesty as less deserving of your Majesty's 
Royal favour, and as the present Speaker may justly be said 
to have been the best who ever filled the chair, Viscount 
Palmerston would beg to submit for your Majesty's gracious 
approval that he may be created Viscount Eversley. It will 
be well at the same time if your Majesty should sanction this 
arrangement that a Record should be entered at the Home 
Office stating that this act of grace and favour of your Majesty 
being founded on the peculiar circumstances of the case, is not 
to [be] deemed a precedent for the cases of future Speakers. 

Lord Canterbury was also made a Grand Cross of the Civil 
Order of the Bath ; it will be for your Majesty to consider 
whether it might not be gracious to follow in all respects on 
the present occasion the course which was pursued in the case 
of Mr Manners Sutton. 

1 Lord Derby's resolutions in the Lords, which were to the same effect as Mr Cobden'B 
motion, were rejected by 146 to 110. On the 16th of March Lord Derby took the oppor- 
tunity of announcing the views of his chief supporters in reference to the General 

2 On the 9th, Mr Speaker Shaw-Lefevre had announced in the House of Commons 
his intended retirement from the Chair, which he had occupied since 1839, when his 
election had been made a trial of strength between parties. He was voted an annuity of 
4,000 a year, and created Viscount Eversley, receiving also the G.O.B. 

3 Heckfield Place, near Winchfield. 


Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 21th March 1857. 

MY DEAREST UNCLE, . . . The Opposition have played 
their game most foolishly, and the result is that all the old 
Tories say they will certainly not support them ; they very 
truly say Lord Derby's party that is those who want to get 
into office coute que coute whether the country suffers for it or 
not, wanted to get in under false colours, and that they won't 
support or abide which they are quite right in. There is 
reason to hope that a better class of men will be returned, and 
returned to support the Government, not a particular cry of 
this or that. . . . Ever your devoted Niece, 


Earl Granville to Queen Victoria. 

[Undated, t 19th May 1857. 

Lord Granville presents his humble duty to your Majesty, 
and begs to submit that the Lord Chancellor made the best 
statement he has yet done, introducing his Divorce Bill. 2 . . . 
Lord Lyndhurst made a most able speech in favour of the Bill, 
but wished it to go further, and give permission to a woman 
to sue for a divorce if she was " maliciously deserted " by her 
husband. . . . The Bishop of Oxford pretended that he was 
not going to speak at all, in order to secure his following instead 
of preceding the Bishop of London ; but upon a division being 
called he was obliged to speak, and did so with considerable 
force and eloquence, but betraying the greatest possible 
preparation. The Bishop of London, after showing that 

1 In his address to the electors of Tiverton, the Premier declared that " an insolent 
barbarian, wielding authority at Canton, had violated the British flag, broken the en- 
gagements of treaties, offered rewards for the heads of British subjects in that part of 
China, and planned their destruction by murder, assassination, and poison." The 
courage and good temper displayed by Lord Palmerston, and the energy with which he 
had carried the country through the Crimean struggle, had won him widespread popu- 
larity, and the Peace partv were generally routed, the prominent members all losing their 
seats. The Peelite ranks" were also thinned, but Lord John Russell, contrary to general 
expectation, held his seat in the City. There were one hundred and eighty-nine new 
members returned, and the Ministry found themselves in command of a handsome 

2 Before this date a divorce could only be obtained in England by Act of Parliament, 
after sentence in the ecclesiastical Court, and (in the case of a husband's application) a 
verdict in mm. con. against the adulterer. The present English law was established by 
the Bill of 1857, the chief amendment made in Committee being the provision exempting 
the clergy from the obligation to marry divorced persons. Bishop Wilberforce opposed 
the Bill strenuously, while Archbishop Sumner and Bishop Tait of London supported it. 
Sir Richard Bethell, the Attorney-General, piloted the measure most skilfully through 
the Commons, hi the teeth of the eloquent and persistent opposition of Mr Gladstone, 
who, to quote a letter from Lord Palmereton to the Queen, opposed the second reading 
" in a speech of two hours and a half, fluent, eloquent, brilliant, full of theological learning 
and scriptural research, but fallacious in argument, and with parts inconsistent with 
each other." 


the Bishop of Oxford's speech was a repetition of Mr Keble's 
speech, made an excellent answer. The Debate was finished 
by the Duke of Argyll. 

For the Bill, 47. Against it, 18. 

The Earl of Clarendon to the Prince Albert. 

20th May 1857. 

SIR, I have the honour to inform your Royal Highness that 
I have had a very long and interesting conversation with M. de 
Persigny to-day. He told me of the different Utopias which 
the Emperor had in his head, of His Majesty's conviction that 
England, France, and Russia ought between them to reghr les 
affaires de V Europe, of the peu de cas which he made of Austria 
or any other Power, and of the various little complaints which 
His Majesty thought he had against Her Majesty's Govern- 
ment, and which had been magnified into importance by the 
malevolence or the stupidity of the persons who had more or 
less the ear of the Emperor. 1 

M. de Persigny told me also that in a conversation with the 
Emperor at which he had taken care that Count Walewski 
should be present, he had solemnly warned the Emperor of the 
danger he would incur if he swerved the least from the path 
of his true interest which was the English Alliance, that all the 
Sovereigns who were flattering and cajoling him for their own 
purposes looked down upon him as an adventurer, and no 
more believed in the stability of his throne, or the duration of 
his dynasty, than they did in any other events of which ex- 
treme improbability was the character ; whereas the English, 
who never condescended to flatter or cajole anybody, but who 
looked to the interests of England, were attached to the French 
Alliance and to the Sovereign of France because peaceful re- 
lations with that country were of the utmost importance to 
England. France was the only country in Europe that could 
do England harm, and on the other hand England was the 
only country that could injure France the late war with 
Russia had not the slightest effect upon France except costing 
her money, but a war with England would set every party in 
France into activity each with its own peculiar objects, but 
all of them against the existing order of things Vordre social 
serait bouleverse and the Empire might perish in the convulsion. 

The result of this and other conversations appears to be an 
earnest desire of the Emperor to come to England on a private 

l A difference had arisen as to the future of the Principalities France, Sardinia, and 
Russia favouring their union, while England, Austria, and Turkey held that a single 
state, so formed, might become too Russian in its sympathies. 


1 ioni the drawing by Sir Geo. Richmond, R.A., in the possession of the Earl of Carnwath 

To face p. 282, Vol. ///, 


visit to the Queen, if possible at Osborne, and at any time 
that might be convenient to Her Majesty. M. de Persigny 
describes him as being intent upon this project, and as attach- 
ing the utmost importance to it in order to eclairer his own 
ideas, to guide his policy, and to prevent by personal com- 
munication with the Queen, your Royal Highness, and Her 
Majesty's Government the dissidences and mesintelligences 
which the Emperor thinks will arise from the want of such 

I fear that such a visit would not be very agreeable to 
Her Majesty, but in the Emperor's present frame of mind, 
and his evident alarm lest it should be thought that the 
Alliance has been in any way ebranlee, I cannot entertain a 
doubt that much good might be done, or, at all events, 
that much mischief might be averted by the Emperor being 
allowed to pay his respects to Her Majesty in the manner 
he proposes. 

I have discussed the matter after the Cabinet this evening 
with Lord Palmer ston, who takes entirely the same view of 
the matter as I have taken the liberty of expressing to your 
Royal Highness. I have the honour to be, with the greatest 
respect, Sir, your Royal Highness's most faithful and devoted 
Servant, CLARENDON. 

The Prince Albert to the Earl of Clarendon. 

OSBORNE, 21st May 1857. 

MY DEAR LOUD CLARENDON, I have shown your letter to 
the Queen, who wishes me to say in answer to it that she will, 
of course, be ready to do what may appear best for the public 
interest. We shall, therefore, be ready to receive the Em- 
peror, with or without the Empress, here at Osborne in the 
quiet way which he proposes. The present moment would, 
however, hardly do, Drawing-rooms and parties being an- 
nounced in London, Parliament sitting, and the Season going 
on and the Queen having only a few days from the Grand 
Duke's visit to her return to Town. The latter half of July, 
the time at which the Queen would naturally be here and the 
best yachting season, might appear to the Emperor the most 
eligible, as being the least force. 

Till then a cottage which is rebuilding will, we hope, be ready 
to accommodate some of the suite, whom we could otherwise 
not properly house. 

I have no doubt that good will arise from a renewed inter- 
course with the Emperor ; the only thing one may perhaps 
be afraid of is the possibility of his wishing to gain us over to 

VOL. Ill 8* 


his views with regard to a redistribution of Europe, and may 
be disappointed at our not being able to assent to his plans 
and aspirations. ALBERT. 1 

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 16th June 1857. 

MY DEAREST UNCLE, The christening of little Beatrice 2 
is just over and was very brilliant and nice. We had the 
luncheon in the fine ball-room, which looked very handsome. 
The Archduke Maximilian (who is here since Sunday evening) 
led me to the chapel, and at the luncheon I sat between him 
and Fritz. I cannot say how much we like the Archduke ; 
he is charming, so clever, natural, kind and amiable, so English 
in his feelings and likings, and so anxious for the best under- 
standing between Austria and England. With the exception 
of his mouth and chin, he is good-looking ; and I think one 
does not the least care for that, as he is so very kind and clever 
and pleasant. I wish you really joy, dearest Uncle, at having 
got such a husband for dear Charlotte, as I am sure he will 
make her happy, and is quite worthy of her. He may, and 
will do a great deal for Italy. 3 . . . 

I must conclude for to-day, hoping soon to hear from you 
again. Ever your devoted Niece, VICTORIA R. 

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria. 

PICCADILLY, 26th June 1857. 

-. , , Viscount Palmerston is sorry to have received the 
accompanying account of the extension of the Mutiny among 
the native troops in India, but he has no fear of its results. 4 
The bulk of the European force is stationed on the North- West 
^Frontier, and is, therefore, within comparatively easy reach 
of Delhi, and about six thousand European troops will have 
returned to Bombay from Persia. It will, however, seem to be 
advisable to send off at once the force amounting to nearly 
eight thousand men, now under orders for embarkation for 
India ; and when the despatches arrive, which will be about 

1 See post, p. 242, note 1. 

2 Princess Beatrice (now Princess Henry of Battenberg) was born on the 14th of April. 

3 The tragic end of a union which promjssd so brightly came in 1867, when the Arch- 
duke Maximilian, having accepted the Imperial crown of Mexico, offered to him by the 
Provisional Government, was shot by order of President Juarez. The Empress Charlotte 
had come to Europe a year earlier to seek help for her husband from the French Emperor. 
In consequence of the shock caused by the failure of her mission, her health entirely gave 

* Alarming accounts of disturbances in India had been received for some weeks past, 
but Lord Palmerston failed to grasp the gravity of the situation. Even after the intelli- 
gence reached England of the mutiny of the native regiments at Meerut, on the 10th of 
May, and of the horrible massacres of women and children, the Ministry did not fully 
.realise the peril threatening our Indian possessions. 


the middle of next week, it will be seen whether any further 
reinforcements will be required. 

The extent of the Mutiny appears to indicate some deeper 
cause than that which was ascribed to the first insubordina- 
tion. That cause may be, as some allege, the apprehension 
of the Hindoo priests that their religion is in danger by the 
progress of civilisation in India, or it may be some hostile 
foreign agency. 

Queen Victoria to Lord Panmure. 

[Undated, t June 1857.] 

The Queen thinks that the persons decorated with the 
Victoria Cross might very properly be allowed to bear some 
distinctive mark after their name. 1 The warrant instituting 
the decoration does not style it "an Order," but merely " a 
Naval and Military Decoration " and a distinction ; nor is it 
properly speaking an order, being not constituted. V.C. would 
not do. K.G. means a Knight of the Garter, C.B. a Com- 
panion of the Bath, M.P. a Member of Parliament, M.D. a 
Doctor of Medicine, etc., etc., in all cases designating a person. 
No one could be called a Victoria Cross. V.C. moreover means 
Vice-Chancellor at present. D.V.C. (decorated with the 
Victoria Cross) or B.V.C. (Bearer of the Victoria Cross) might 
do. The Queen thinks the last the best. 

Queen Victoria to Lord Panmure. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 29th June 1857. 

The Queen has to acknowledge the receipt of Lord Pan- 
mure' s letter of yesterday. She had long been of opinion 
that reinforcements waiting to go to India ought not to be 
delayed. The moment is certainly a very critical one, and the 
additional reinforcements now proposed will be much wanted. 
The Queen entirely agrees with Lord Panmure that it will be 
good policy to oblige the East India Company to keep per- 
manently a larger portion of the Royal Army in India than 
heretofore. The Empire has nearly doubled itself within the 
last twenty years, and the Queen's troops have been kept 
at the old establishment. They are the body on whom the 
maintenance of that Empire depends, and the Company ought 
not to sacrifice the highest interests to love of patronage. The 

i The Victoria Cross had just been instituted by Eoyal Warrant, and the Queen had, 
with her own hand, decorated those who had won the distinction, in Hyde Park, on the 
26th of June. 


Queen hopes that the new reinforcements will be sent out in 
their Brigade organisation, and not as detached regiments ; 
good Commanding Officers knowing their troops will be of the 
highest importance next to the troops themselves. 

The Queen must ask that the troops by whom we shall be 
diminished at home by the transfer of so many regiments to 
the Company should be forthwith replaced by an increase of 
the establishment up to the number voted by Parliament, and 
for which the estimates have been taken, else we denude our- 
selves altogether to a degree dangerous to our own safety at 
home, and incapable of meeting a sudden emergency, which, 
as the present example shows, may come upon us at any 
moment. If we had not reduced in such a hurry this spring, 
we should now have all the men wanted ! 

The Queen wishes Lord Panmure to communicate this 
letter to Lord Palmerston. The accounts in to-day's papers 
from India are most distressing. 

Queen Victoria to Lord Panmure. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 3rd July 1857. 

The Queen has received Lord Panmure's letter of yesterday. 
She has sanctioned the going of four Regiments to the East 
Indies. With regard to the reduction of the garrison of Malta 
to four Regiments, she hopes the Government will well con- 
sider whether this will not reduce this valuable and exposed 
spot to a state of insecurity. 

The Queen is sorry to find Lord Panmure still objecting 
to a proper Brigade system, without which no army in the 
world can be efficient. We want General Officers, and cannot 
train them unless we employ them on military duty, not on 
clerks' duty in district or colony, but in the command of 
troops. The detachment of Regiments is no reason for having 
no system, and the country will not pay for General Officers 
whose employment is not part of a system ; our Army is then 
deprived of its efficiency by the refusal to adopt a system on 
the part of the Government. 

Viscount Canning to Queen Victoria. 

CALCUTTA, Uh July 1857. 

Lord Canning presents his humble duty to your Majesty, 
and although unable to give to your Majesty the complete 
details of the capture of Delhi, and of the defeat of the rebels 

1857] DELHI 237 

in that city, 1 as he has long desired to do, he can at least 
announce to your Majesty that the city is in the possession 
of the British troops, under Major-General Sir Henry Barnard ; 
and that nothing remains in the hands of the insurgents 
except the Palace or Fort, in which they have all taken 
refuge. This was the state of things on the 13th and 14th 
of June, the latest day of which any certain accounts have 
been received from Delhi ; but nothing was likely to in- 
terfere with the completion of the capture within forty-eight 

This event has been long and anxiously awaited, and the 
time which has elapsed has cost England and India very dear. 
Many precious lives have been lost, and much heartrending 
suffering has been endured, for which there can be no compensa- 
tion. The reputation of England's power, too, has had a rude 
shake ; and nothing but a long-continued manifestation of 
her might before the eyes of the whole Indian Empire, evinced 
by the presence of such an English force as shall make the 
thought of oppositon hopeless, will re-establish confidence in 
her strength. 

Lord Canning much fears that there are parts of India 
where, until this is done, a complete return to peace and 
order will not be effected. Wherever the little band of English 
soldiers little when compared with the stretch of country 
over which they have to operate which Lord Canning has 
at his disposal has shown itself, the effect has been instan- 

Except at Delhi, there has scarcely been an attempt at 
resistance to an European soldier, and the march of the smallest 
detachments has preserved order right and left of the roads. 
The same has been the case in large cities, such as Benares, 
Patna, and others ; all going to prove that little more than 
the presence of English troops is needed to ensure peace. 
On the other hand, where such troops are known not to be 
within reach, anarchy and violence, when once let loose, 
continue unrestrained ; and, until further additions are made 
to the English regiments in the disturbed districts, this state 
of things will not only continue, but extend itself. The 
fall of Delhi will act to some degree as a check ; but where 
rapine and outrage have raged uncontrolled, even for a few 
hours, it is to be feared that nothing but the actual presence 
of force will bring the country into order. 

1 After the outbreak at Meerut in May, the fugitive Sepoys fled to Delhi, and en- 
deavoured to capture the magazine, which, however, was exploded by British soldiers. 
Delhi was not captured until September (see post, p. 249). On the llth of July, the 
Government received intelligence of the spread of the Mutiny throughout Bengal, and 
the resulting diminution ot the Indian Army. 


Lord Canning rejoices to say that to-day the first Regiment 
of your Majesty's Forces destined for China has entered the 
Hooghly. Lord Canning did not scruple, knowing how much 
was at stake, earnestly to press Lord Elgin to allow those 
forces to be turned aside to India before proceeding to the 
support of your Majesty's Plenipotentiary in China ; * and 
to this, so far as regards the first two Regiments, Lord Elgin 
readily assented. From what Lord Canning has ventured to 
state above, your Majesty will easily understand the satis- 
faction with which each new arrival of an English transport 
in Calcutta is regarded by him. 

As yet no military operations south of Delhi have been 
undertaken. Next week, however, a column composed of 
your Majesty's 64th and 78th (Highland) Regiments will 
reach Cawnpore 2 and Lucknow, in the neighbourhood of 
which it is probable that an opportunity will offer of striking 
a decisive blow at the band of rebels which, after that in 
Delhi, is the strongest and most compact. But Lord Canning 
greatly doubts whether they will await the onset. Unfor- 
tunately, they may run away from the English troops, and yet 
prove very formidable to any who are weaker than themselves 
whether Indians or unarmed Europeans. 

Your Majesty is aware that in the critical condition of 
affairs which now, "exists, Lord Canning has felt himself com- 
pelled to adopt the measure of placing the King of Oudh in 
confinement in Fort William, in consequence of the use made 
of his name by those who have been busy tampering with the 
Sepoys ; and of the intrigues which there is good reason to 
believe that the Minister of the King, who is also in the Fort, 
has carried on in his master's name. 3 The King has been, 
and will continue to be, treated with every mark of respect 
and indulgence which is compatible with his position, so long 
as it may be necessary that he should be retained in the Fort. 

Lord Canning earnestly hopes that your Majesty and the 
Prince are in the enjoyment of good health, and prays your 
Majesty to be graciously pleased to accept the expression of 
his sincere devotion and dutiful attachment. 

1 For Sir George Grey's action at Cape Town, in reference to the troops destined for 
China, see hia Memoir, in the Dictionary of National Biography. 

2 On the 4th of June, two native regiments had mutinied at Cawnpore, and the English 
residents, under General Sir Hugh Wheeler, were besieged. After many deaths and much 
privation, the garrison were induced by the perfidy of Nana Sahib, who had caused the 
Cawnpore rising, to surrender, on condition of their lives being spared. On the 27th of 
June, not suspecting their impending fate, the enfeebled garrison, or what was left of it, 
gave themselves up. The men were killed, the women and children being first enslaved 
and afterwards massacred. On the 16th of July, General Havelock defeated Nana 
Sahib at Cawnpore, the city was occupied by the English, and a sanguinary, but well- 
merited, retribution exacted. 

3 The ex-King had been living under the protection of the Indian Government. The 
arrest took place early in June at his residence at Garden Reach. 


Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria. 

PICCADILLY, 27th July 1857. 

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty, and begs to state that Mr Disraeli this afternoon, 
in a speech of three hours, made his Motion on the state of 
India. His Motion was ostensibly for two papers, on of 
which does not exist, at least in the possession of the Govern- 
ment, and the other of which ought not to be made public,, 
as it relates to the arrangements for defending India against 
external attack. He represented the disturbances in India 
as a national revolt, and not as a mere military mutiny ; and 
he enumerated various causes which in his opinion accounted 
for and justified this general revolt. Some of these causes 
were various measures of improved civilisation which from 
time to time during the last ten years the Indian Government 
had been urged by Parliament to take. Mr Vernon Smith 
followed, and in a very able speech answered in great detail 
Mr Disraeli's allegations. Sir Erskine Perry, 1 who evidently 
had furnished Mr Disraeli with much of his mistaken asser- 
tions, supported his views. Mr Campbell, Member for Wey- 
mouth, who had been many years in India, showed the fallacy 
of Mr Disraeli's arguments, and the groundlessness of many 
of his assertions. Mr Whiteside supported the Motion. Lord 
John Russell, who had after Mr Disraeli's speech communicated 
with the Government, expressed his disapprobation of Mr 
Disraeli's speech, and moved as an Amendment an Address 
to your Majesty expressing the assurance of the support 
of the House for measures to suppress the present disturbances, 
and their co-operation with your Majesty in measures for the 
permanent establishment of tranquillity and contentment 
in India. 2 Mr Mangles, the Chairman of the Directors, re- 
plied at much length, and very conclusively to Mr Disraeli's 
speech. Mr Liddell, with much simplicity, asked the Speaker 
to tell him how he should vote, but approved entirely of 
Lord John Russell's address. Mr Ayrton moved an adjourn- 
ment of the Debate, which was negatived by 203 to 79. Mr 
Hadfield then shortly stated in his provincial dialect that 
" we can never keep our 'old upon Hindia by the Force of 
Harms." Mr Disraeli then made an animated reply to the 
speeches against him, but in a manner almost too animated 
for the occasion. Mr Thomas Baring set Mr Disraeli right, 
but in rather strong terms, about some proceedings of the 

1 Chief Justice of Bombay 1847-1852, and M.P. for Devonport 1854-1859. 

2 " One of those dry constitutional platitudes," said Mr Disraeli in reply, " which in 
a moment of difficulty the noble lord pulls out of the dusty pigeon-holes of his mind, and 
shakes in the perplexed face of the baffled House of Commons." Mr Disraeli was 
admittedly much annoyed by the statesmanlike intervention of Lord John. 


Committee on Indian Affairs in 1853, with regard to which 
Mr Disraeli's memory had proved untrustworthy. Viscount 
Palmerston shortly made some observations on the Motion 
and the speech which had introduced it ; and the Motion was 
then negatived without a division, and the Address was 
unanimously carried. 

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 

OSBORNE, 27th July 1857. 

MY DEAREST UNCLE, At this very moment the marriage 1 
is going on the Knot is being tied which binds your lovely 
sweet child to a thoroughly worthy husband and I am sure 
you will be much moved. May every blessing attend her ! 
I wish / could be present but my dearest Half being there 
makes me feel as I were there myself. I try to picture to 
myself how all will be. I could not give you a greater proof 
of my love for you all, and my anxiety to give you and dearest 
Charlotte pleasure, than in urging my dearest Albert to go 
over for I encouraged and urged him to go though you 
cannot think combien cela me coute or how completely deroutee 
I am and feel when he is away, or how I count the hours till 
he returns. All the numerous children are as nothing to me 
when he is away ; it seems as if the whole life of the house 
and home were gone, when he is away ! 

We do all we can to feter in our very quiet way this dear 
day. We are all out of mourning ; the younger children are 
to have a half -holiday, Alice is to dine for the first time in 
the evening with us ; we shall drink the Archduke and Arch- 
duchess's healths ; and I have ordered mine for our servants, 
and grog for our sailors to do the same. 

Vicky (who is painting in the Alcove near me) wishes me 
to say everything to you and the dear young couple, and pray 
tell dear Charlotte all that we have been doing. . . . 

Here we are in anxious (and I fear many people in very 
cruel) suspense, for news from India. They ought to have 
arrived the day before yesterday. 

On Thursday, then, we are to have Prince Napoleon, and 
on the following Thursday the Emperor and Empress ; and 
after them for one night, the Queen of Holland, 2 whose activity 
is astounding and she sees everything and everybody and 
goes everywhere ; she is certainly clever and amiable. . . . 

Now, with our children's affectionate love, ever your 
devoted Niece, VICTORIA R. 

1 Of the Princess Charlotte to the Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian at Brussels. 

2 Sophia Frederica, born 1818, daughter of King William I. of Wurtemberg. 

1857] THE MILITIA 241 

Pray offer my kind regards to all your visitors, even to 
those whom I do not know. I only hope my dearest husband 
will tell me oil about everything. Vicky is constantly talking 
and thinking of Charlotte. 

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston. 

OSBORNE, 2nd August 1857. 

The Queen has to thank Lord Palmerston for his letter 
of the 27th July. 

The embodying of the Militia will be a most necessary 
measure, as well for the defence of our own country, and for 
keeping up on the Continent of Europe the knowledge that 
we are not in a defenceless state, as for the purpose of obtaining 
a sufficient number of volunteers for the Army. 

The Queen hopes, therefore, that the Militia to be embodied 
will be on a proper and sufficient scale. She must say, that 
the last accounts from India show so formidable a state of 
things that the military measures hitherto taken by the 
Home Government, on whom the salvation of India must 
mainly depend, appear to the Queen as by no means adequate 
to the emergency. We have nearly gone to the full extent 
of our available means, just as we did in the Crimean War, 
and may be able to obtain successes ; but we have not 
laid in a store of troops, nor formed Reserves which could 
carry us over a long struggle, or meet unforeseen new 
calls. Herein we are always most shortsighted, and have 
finally to suffer either in power and reputation, or to pay 
enormous sums for small advantages in the end generally 

The Queen hopes that the Cabinet will look the question 
boldly in the face ; nothing could be better than the Reso- 
lutions passed in the House of Commons, insuring to the 
Government every possible support in the adoption of vigorous 
measures. It is generally the Government, and not the 
House of Commons, who hang back. The Queen wishes 
Lord Palmerston to communicate this letter to his Colleagues. 

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston. 

OSBORNE, 4th August 1857. 

The defenceless state of our shores, now that the Army 
has been reduced to eighteen effective Battalions, and the 
evident inclinations of the Continental Powers, chiefly France 
and Russia, to dictate to us with regard to the Oriental Ques- 

242 THE NAVY [CHAP, xxvi 

tion, makes the Queen naturally turn her attention to the 
state of our naval preparations and force. 

To render it possible to salute the Emperor l when he 
comes here, the old St Vincent has been brought out of the 
harbour, but has been manned chiefly by the men of the 
Excellent gunnery ship ; and we have been warned by the 
Admiralty not to visit the Excellent in consequence. This 
does not show a very brilliant condition ! But what is still 
more worthy of consideration is, that our new fleet, which 
had been completed at the end of the Russian War, was a 
steam fleet ; when it was broken up at the Peace the dockyard 
expenses were also cut down, and men discharged at the very 
moment when totally new and extensive arrangements be- 
came necessary to repair and keep in a state of efficiency the 
valuable steam machinery, and to house our gunboat flotilla 
on shore. To render any of these steamships fit for sea, now 
that they are dismantled, with our small means as to basins 
and docks, must necessarily cost much time. 

The Queen wishes accordingly to have a report sent to her 
as to the force of screw-ships of the Line and of other classes 
which can be got ready at the different dockyards, and the 
time required to get them to sea for actual service ; and also 
the time required to launch and get ready the gunboats. She 
does not wish for a mere general answer from the Lords of 
the Admiralty, but for detailed reports from the Admirals 
commanding at the different ports, and particularly the 
Captains in command of the Steam Reserve. She would only 
add that she wishes no unnecessary time to be lost in the 
preparation of these reports. She requests Lord Palmerston 
to have these, her wishes, carried out. 

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston. 

OSBORSTE, 22nd August 1857. 

The Queen is afraid from the telegram of this morning 
that affairs in India have not yet taken a favourable turn. 
Delhi seems still to hold out, and the death of Sir H. Lawrence 2 

1 The Emperor and Empress of the French arrived at Osborne on the 6th of August 
on a visit to the Queen and Prince, lasting for four days, during which time much dis- 
cussion took place between the Prince and Emperor on affairs in Eastern Europe. 

2 On the previous day, the Queen and Prince had returned from a visit to Cherbourg, 
and found very disquieting news from India. Sir Henry Lawrence was the Military Ad- 
ministrator and Chief Commissioner of Oudh ; on the 30th of May, the 71st N.I. mutinied 
at Lucknow, but Sir Henry drove them from their position and fortified the Residency. 
Some weeks later, on sallying out to reconnoitre, the English were driven back and 
besieged in the Residency ; Sir Henry dying from the effects of a wound caused by a 


is a great loss. The Queen must repeat to Lord Palmerston 
that the measures hitherto taken by the Government are 
not commensurate with the magnitude of the crisis. 

We have given nearly all we have in reinforcements, and 
if new efforts should become necessary, by the joining of the 
Madras and Bombay Armies in the Revolt, for instance, it 
will take months to prepare Reserves which ought now to 
be ready. Ten Battalions of Militia to be called out is quite 
inadequate ; forty, at least, ought to be the number, for these 
also exist only on paper. The augmentation of the Cavalry 
and the Guards has not yet been ordered. 

Financial difficulties don't exist ; the 14,000 men sent to 
India are taken over by the Indian Government, and their 
expense saved to us ; and this appears hardly the moment 
to make savings on the Army estimates. 

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria. 

DOWNING STREET, 22nd August 1857. 

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty. . . . Viscount Palmerston has had the honour of 
receiving your Majesty's communication of this morning. 
It is, no doubt, true that the telegraphic account received 
yesterday evening does not show, that at the dates mentioned 
from India, any improvement had taken place in the state 
of affairs, and the loss of Sir Henry Lawrence and of General 
Barnard, 1 but especially of the former, is deeply to be lamented. 

With regard, however, to the measures now taking to raise 
a force to supply the place of the troops sent to India, and to 
enlist recruits to fill up vacancies in the Regiments in India, 
Viscount Palmerston would beg to submit that the steps now 
taking seem to be well calculated for their purpose. The 
recruiting for the Army has gone on more rapidly than could 
have been expected at this particular time of year, and in a 
fortnight or three weeks from this time will proceed still more 
rapidly ; the ten thousand Militia to be immediately embodied 
will be as much as could probably be got together at the 
present moment without much local inconvenience ; but if 
that number should be found insufficient, it would be easy 
afterwards to embody more. But, if the recruiting should 
go on successfully, that number of Militiamen in addition to 
the Regulars may be found sufficient. Viscount Palmerston 
begs to assure your Majesty that there is no wish to make 

l He died of cholera at Delhi, on the 5th of July. 


savings on the amount voted for Army Services, but, on the 
other hand, it would be very inconvenient and embarrassing 
to exceed that amount without some urgent and adequate 
necessity. . . . 

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston. 

OSBORNB, 22nd August 1857. 

In answer to Lord Palmerston's observations on our Military 
preparations, the Queen must reply that, although Lord 
Palmerston disclaims, on the part of the Government, the 
intention of making a saving on the Army estimates out of 
the fearful exigencies caused by the Indian Revolt, the facts 
still remain. The Government have sent fourteen Battalions 
out of the country and transferred them to the East India 
Company, and they mean to replace them only by ten new 
ones, whose organisation has been ordered ; but even in 
these, they mean for the present to save four Companies out 
of every twelve. The Queen, the House of Lords, the House 
of Commons, and the Press, all call out for vigorous exertion, 
and the Government alone take an apologetic line, anxious 
to do as little as possible, to wait for further news, to reduce 
as low as possible even what they do grant, and reason as if 
we had at most only to replace what was sent out ; whilst 
if new demands should come upon us, the Reserves which 
ought now to be decided upon and organised, are only then 
to be discussed. The Queen can the less reconcile herself 
to the system of " letting out a little sail at a time," as Lord 
Palmerston called it the other day, as she feels convinced 
that, if vigour and determination to get what will be eventually 
wanted is shown by the Cabinet, it will pervade the whole 
Government machinery and attain its object ; but that if, 
on the other hand, people don't see what the Government 
really require, and find them satisfied with a little at a time, 
even that little will not be got, as the subordinates naturally 
take the tone from their superiors. Ten Militia Regiments 
would not even represent the 10,000 men whom Parliament 
has voted the supplies for. A Battalion will probably not 
reach 600 for a time, and from these we hope to draw volun- 
teers again ! 

The Queen hopes the Cabinet will yet look the whole question 
in the face, and decide while there is time what they must 
know will become necessary, and what must in the hurry at 
the end be done less well and at, probably, double the cost. 
The Queen can speak by very recent experience, having seen 
exactly the same course followed in the late War. 


Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston. 

OSBORNE, 23rd August 1857. 

The Queen approves of Lord Fife * and Lord R. Grosvenor 
being made Peers, and of an offer being made to Mr Macaulay, 
although she believes he will decline the honour. . . . 

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston. 

OSBORNE, 25th August 1857. 

The Queen has received Lord Palmer ston's letter of yester- 
day, and must say that she is deeply grieved at her want of 
success in impressing upon him the importance of meeting 
the present dangers by agreeing on, and maturing a general 
plan by which to replace in kind the troops sent out of the 
country, and for which the money has been voted by Parlia- 
ment. 2 To the formation of the full number of Battalions, 
and their full strength in Companies, Lord Palmerston objects 
that the men will not be found to fill them, and therefore it is 
left undone ; to the calling-out of more Militia, he objects 
that they ought not to be used as Recruiting Depots, and if 
many were called out the speed with which the recruiting 
for the Army went on, would oblige them to be disbanded 
again. The War Office pride themselves upon having got 
1,000 men since the recruiting began ; this is equal to 1,000 
a month or 12,000 a year, the ordinary wear and tear of the 
Army ! ! Where will the Reserves for India be to be found ? 
It does not uffise merely to get recruits, as Lord Palmerston 
says ; they v. ill not become soldiers for six months when got, 

1 James, fifth Viscount MacdufE and Earl of Fife in the peerage of Ireland, was, on 
the 1st of October, created a Baron of the United Kingdom ; he was the father of the 
present Duke of Fife. Lord Robert Grosvenor became Lord Ebury, and Mr Macaulay 
Lord Macaulay of Rothley Temple (his birthplace), in the county of Leicester. 

2 After referring to the necessity for supplying by fresh drafts the gaps created in the 
regiments in India, Lord Palmerston had written : 

" If the Militia officers were to find that they were considered merely as drill sergeants 
for the Line, they would grow careless and indifferent, and many whom it is desirable 
to keep in the Service would leave it. 

" With regard to the number of Militiamen to be embodied, the question seems to be, 
What is the number which will be wanted for the whole period to the 31st of March, 
because it would be undesirable to call out and embody now Militia Regiments which 
would become unnecessary during the winter by the progress of recruiting, and which, 
from there being no funds applicable to their maintenance, it would become necessary to 
disembody. The men would be now taken from industrial employment at a time when 
labour is wanted, and would be turned adrift in the winter when there is less demand 
for labour. 

" With respect to recruiting for the Army, every practicable means has been adopted 
to hasten its success. Recruiting parties have been scattered over the whole of the 
United Kingdom, and the permanent staff of the disembodied Militia have been furnished 
with Beating Warrants enabling them to enlist recruits for the Line ; and the recruiting 
has been hitherto very successful. The only thing to be done is to raise men as fast as 
possible, and to post them as they are raised to the Regiments and Battalions for which 
they engage. The standard, moreover, has been lowered. . . ." 


and in the meantime a sufficient number of Militia Regiments 
ought to be drilled, and made efficient to relieve the Line 
Regiments already sent, or yet to be sent, for these also are 
at present necessarily good for nothing. 

The Queen must say that the Government incur a fearful 
responsibility towards their country by their apparent in- 
difference. God grant that no unforeseen European com- 
plication fall upon this country but we are really tempting 

The Queen hopes Lord Palmerston has communicated to 
the Cabinet her views on the subject. 

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria. 

PICCADILLY, 31** August 1857. 

. . . Viscount Palmerston would beg to submit for your 
Majesty's consideration whether he might be authorised by 
your Majesty to offer to Lord Lansdowne promotion to the 
title of Duke. Your Majesty may possibly not have in the 
course of your Majesty's reign, long as it is to be hoped that 
reign will be, any subject whose private and public character 
will during so long a course of years as those which have been 
the period of Lord Lansdowne's career, have more entitled 
him to the esteem and respect of his fellow-countrymen, and 
to the approbation of his Sovereign. 

Lord Lansdowne has now for several years given your 
Majesty's Government the great and valuable support of his 
advice in council, his assistance in debate, and the weight of 
his character in the country, without any office. His health 
and strength, Viscount Palmerston cannot disguise from him- 
self, have not been this year such as they had been ; and if 
your Majesty should contemplate marking at any time your 
Majesty's sense of Lord Lansdowne's public services, there 
could not be a better moment for doing so than the present ; 
and Viscount Palmerston has reason to believe that such an 
act of grace would be very gratifying to the Liberal Party, 
and would be deemed well bestowed even by those who are 
of opposite politics. 1 

Mr Macaulay accepts the Peerage with much gratitude to 
your Majesty. 

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 

BALMORAL CASTLE, 2nd September 1857. 

DEAREST UNCLE, . . . We are in sad anxiety about India, 
which engrosses all our attention. 2 Troops cannot be raised 

l Lord Lansdowne declined the honour. 

a At Balmoral the Queen learned in greater detail of the atrocities which had been 
committed upon the garrison at Cawnpore. 


fast or largely enough. And the horrors committed on the 
poor ladies women and children are unknown in these ages, 
and make one's blood run cold. Altogether, the whole is so 
much more distressing than the Crimea where there was 
glory and honourable warfare, and where the poor women and 
children were safe. Then the distance and the difficulty of 
communication is such an additional suffering to us all. I 
know you will feel much for us all. There is not a family 
hardly who is not in sorrow and anxiety about their children, 
and in all ranks India being the place where every one was 
anxious to place a son ! 

We hear from our people (not Fritz) from Berlin, that the 
King is in a very unsatisfactory state. What have you 
heard ? . . . 

Now, with Albert's love, ever your devoted Niece, 


Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria. 

BROCKET, 10th September 1857. 

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty and begs to submit that an impression is beginning 
to prevail that it would be a proper thing that a day should be 
set apart for National Prayer and Humiliation with reference 
to the present calamitous state of affairs in India, upon the 
same principle on which a similar step was taken during the 
Crimean War ; and if your Majesty should approve, Viscount 
Palmerston would communicate on the subject with the Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury. ... It is usual on such occasions that 
the Archbishop of Canterbury should attend, 1 but in considera- 
tion of the distance his attendance might well be dispensed 
with on the present occasion. 

Queen Victoria to Viocount Palmerston. 

BALMORAL, llth September 1857. 

Lord Palmerston knows what the Queen's feelings are with 
regard to Fast-days, which she thinks do not produce the 
desired effect from the manner in which they are appointed, 
and the selections made for the Service but she will not 
oppose the natural feeling which any one must partake in, of 
a desire to pray for our fellow-countrymen and women who 

1 I.e. at the meeting of the Council which was to be summoned. 


are exposed to such imminent danger, and therefore sanctions 
his consulting the Archbishop on the subject. She would, 
however, suggest its being more appropriately called a day 
of prayer and intercession for our suffering countrymen, than 
of fast and humiliation, and of its being on a Sunday, and 
not on a week-day : on the last Fast-day, the Queen heard 
it generally remarked, that it produced more harm than 
good, and that, if it were on a Sunday, it would be much 
more generally observed. However, she will sanction what- 
ever is proper, but thinks it ought to be as soon as pos- 
sible 1 (in a fortnight or three weeks) if it is to be done 
at all. 

She will hold a Council whenever it is wished. 2 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Clarendon. 

BALMORAL CASTLE, 23rd September 1857. 

The Queen hopes that the arrival of troops and ships with 
Lord Elgin will be of material assistance, but still it does not 
alter the state of affairs described by the Queen in her letter, 
which she wrote to Lord Palmerston, and which she is glad 
to see Lord Clarendon agrees in. Though we might have 
perhaps wished the Maharajah 3 to express his feelings on the 
subject of the late atrocities in India, it was hardly to be 
expected that he (naturally of a negative, though gentle and 
very amiable disposition) should pronounce an opinion on so 
painful a subject, attached as he is to his country, and natur- 
ally still possessing, with all his amiability and goodness, 
an Eastern nature ; he can also hardly, a deposed Indian 
Sovereign, not very fond of the British rule as represented 
by the East India Company, and, above all, impatient 
of Sir John Login's * tutorship, be expected to like to 
hear his country-people called fiends and monsters, and 
to see them brought in hundreds, if not thousands, to be 

His best course is to say nothing, she must think. 

It is a great mercy he, poor boy, is not there. 

1 It was kept on the 7th of October (a Wednesday). 

2 Shortly after the date of this letter came the intelligence from India that Delhi had 
not fallen, and that the Lucknow garrison was not yet relieved. This news, coupled 
with the tidings of fresh outbreaks, and the details of the horrors of Cawnpore, 
generated deep feelings of resentment in the country. 

3 Lord Clarendon had written that he was " sorry to learn that the Maharajah 
(Dhuleep Singh) had shown little or no regret for the atrocities which have been com- 
mitted, or sympathy with the sufferers." 

* Sir John Spencer Login, formerly surgeon at the British Residency, Lucknow, 
guardian of the Maharajah Dhuleep Singh, 1849-1858. 


Viscount Canning to Queen, Victoria. 

CALCUTTA, 25th September 1857. 

Lord Canning presents his humble duty to your Majesty, 
and asks leave again to address your Majesty, although the 
desire which he has felt that his next letter should announce 
to your Majesty the fall of Delhi, and the first steps towards 
a restoration of your Majesty's Authority throughout the 
revolted Districts, cannot as yet be accomplished. But al- 
though it is not in Lord Canning's power to report any very 
marked success over the Rebels, he can confidently assure 
your Majesty that a change in the aspect of affairs is gradually 
taking place, which gives hope that the contest is drawing to 
a close, and the day of punishment at hand. . . . 

Another ground for good hopes is the appearance of things 
at Lucknow. News just received from Sir James Outram 
announces that he has joined General Havel ock's force at 
Cawnpore, and that the Troops crossed the Ganges into Oudh 
on the 19th, with hardly any opposition. The European force 
now advancing on Lucknow is about [ ] l strong, well 

provided with Artillery. The beleaguered Garrison was in 
good spirits on the 16th of September, and had provisions 
enough to last to the end of the month. They had lately 
inflicted severe losses on their assailants, and some of the 
latter had dispersed. The influential proprietors and chiefs 
of the country had begun to show symptoms of siding 
with us. 

This is a very different state of things from that which 
existed when General Havelock's force retired across the 
Ganges in July ; and Lord Canning prays and believes that 
your Majesty will be spared the pain and horror of hearing 
that the atrocities of Cawnpore have been re-enacted upon the 
brave and enduring garrison of Lucknow. Every English 
soldier who could be made to reach Cawnpore has been pushed 
on to General Outram, even to the denuding of some points 
of danger in the intervening country, and General Outram' s 
instructions are to consider the rescue of the garrison as the 
one paramount object to which everything else is to give way. 
The garrison (which, after all, is nothing more than the House 
of the Resident, with defences hastily thrown up) contains 
about three hundred and fifty European men, four hundred 
and fifty women and children, and one hundred and twenty 
sick, besides three hundred natives, hitherto faithful. The 
city, and even the province, may be abandoned and recovered 
again, but these lives must be saved now or never ; and to 

1 Word omitted in the original. 


escape the sorrow and humiliation of such barbarities as have 
already been endured elsewhere is worth any sacrifice. It 
is in consideration of the state of things at these two most 
critical points, Delhi and Lucknow, that Lord Canning ventures 
to ask your Majesty to look hopefully to the events of 
the next few weeks ; notwithstanding that he is unable to 
announce any signal success. . . . 

Sir Colin Campbell has been in a state of delight ever since 
his favourite 93rd landed five days ago. 1 He went to see 
them on board their transport before they disembarked, and 
when Lord Canning asked how he found them, replied that 
the only thing amiss was that they had become too fat on the 
voyage, and could not button their coats. But, indeed, all 
the troops of the China force have been landed in the highest 
possible condition of health and vigour. The 23rd, from its 
large proportion of young soldiers, is perhaps the one most 
likely to suffer from the climate and the hardships of the 
Service for, although no care or cost will be spared to keep 
them in health and comfort, Lord Canning fears that hardships 
there must be, seeing how vast an extent of usually productive 
country will be barren for a time, and that the districts from 
which some of our most valuable supplies, especially the supply 
of carriage animals, are drawn, have been stripped bare, or 
are still in revolt. As it is, the Commander-in-Chief has most 
wisely reduced the amount of tent accommodation for officers 
and men far below the ordinary luxurious Indian allowance. 

The presence of the ships of the Royal Navy has been of 
the greatest service. At least eleven thousand seamen and 
marines have been contributed by them for duty on shore, 
and the broadsides of the Sanspareti, Shannon, and Pearl, as 
they lie along the esplanade, have had a very reassuring effect 
upon the inhabitants of Calcutta, who, until lately, have 
insisted pertinaciously that their lives and property were in 
hourly danger. 2 

No line-of-battle ship has been seen in the Hooghly since 
Admiral Watson sailed up to Chandernagore just a hundred 
years ago ; 3 and certainly nothing in his fleet was equal to 
the Sanspareil. The natives stare at her, and call her " the 
four-storied boat." 

1 At the battle of the Alma, Sir Colin Campbell, in command of the 2nd or Highland 
Brigade of the 1st Division, had, with his Highlanders in line, routed the last compact 
column of the Russians. On the llth of July 1857, he was appointed Commander-in- 
Chief in India, and started literally at one day's notice, reaching Calcutta on the 14th of 

2 The services of the Naval Brigade, at the relief of Lucknow, were warmly recognised 
by Sir Colin Campbell, and especially the gallantry of Captain Peel of the Shannon. 

3 In retribution for the atrocity of the Black Hole of Calcutta, Watson, under 
instructions from Clive, reduced Chandernagore on the 23rd of March 1757 ; the battle 
of Plassey was fought on the 23rd of June. 

1857] INDIA 251 

For the future, if Delhi should fall and Lucknow be secured, 
the work of pacification will go forward steadily. Many 
points will have to be watched, and there may be occasional 
resistance ; but nothing like an organised contest against 
authority is probable. The greatest difficulties will be in the 
civil work of re-settlement. The recent death of Mr Colvin, 1 
the Lieutenant-Governor of the North- Western Provinces, has 
removed an officer whose experience would there have been 
most valuable. He has died, fairly exhausted ; and is the 
fourth officer of high trust whose life has given way in the last 
four months. 

One of the greatest difficulties which lie ahead and Lord 
Canning grieves to say so to your Majesty will be the violent 
rancour of a very large proportion of the English community 
against every native Indian of every class. There is a rabid 
and indiscriminate vindictiveness abroad, even amongst many 
who ought to set a better example, which it is impossible to 
contemplate without something like a feeling of shame for 
one's fellow-countrymen. Not one man in ten seems to think 
that the hanging and shooting of forty or fifty thousand 
mutineers, besides other Rebels, can be otherwise than prac- 
ticable and right ; nor does it occur to those who talk and 
write most upon the matter that for the Sovereign of England 
to hold and govern India without employing, and., to a great 
degree, trusting natives, both in civil and military service, is 
simply impossible. It is no exaggeration to say that a vast 
number of the European community would hear with pleasure 
and approval that every Hindoo and Mohammedan had been 
proscribed, and that none would be admitted to serve the 
Government except in a menial office. That which they 
desire is to see a broad line of separation, and of declared 
distrust drawn between us Englishmen and every subject of 
your Majesty who is not a Christian, and who has a dark skin ; 
and there are some who entirely refuse to believe in the 
fidelity or goodwill of any native towards any European; 
although many instances of the kindness and generosity of 
both Hindoos and Mohammedans have come upon record 
during these troubles. 

To those whose hearts have been torn by the foul barbarities 
inflicted upon those dear to them any degree of bitterness 
against the natives may be excused. No man will dare to 
judge them for it. But the cry is raised loudest by those who 
have been sitting quietly in their homes from the beginning 
and have suffered little from the convulsions around them 

i John Russell Colvin, formerly Private Secretary to Lord Auckland, had been 
Lieuteuant-Governor since 1853. 


unless it be in pocket. It is to be feared that this feeling of 
exasperation will be a great impediment in the way of restoring 
tranquillity and good order, even after signal retribution shall 
have been deliberately measured out to all chief offenders. 1 

Lord Canning is ashamed of having trespassed upon your 
Majesty's indulgence at such length. He will only add that 
he has taken the liberty of sending to your Majesty by this 
mail a map which has just been finished, showing the dis- 
tribution of the Army throughout India at the time of the 
outbreak of the Mutiny. It also shows the Regiments of the 
Bengal Army which have mutinied, and those which have 
been disarmed, the number of European troops arrived in 
Calcutta up to the 19th of September, and whence they came ; 
with some few other points of information. 

There may be some slight inaccuracies, as the first copies 
of the map have only just been struck off, and have not been 
corrected ; but Lord Canning believes that it will be interest- 
ing to your Majesty at the present moment. 

Lord Canning begs to be allowed to express his earnest wishes 
for the health of your Majesty, and of His Royal Highness 
Prince Albert, and to offer to your Majesty the humble assur- 
ance of his sincere and dutiful devotion. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Clarendon. 

BALMORAL, 28th September 1857. 

The Queen is much surprised at Lord Clarendon's observing 
that " from what he hears the Maharajah was either from 
nature or early education cruel." 2 He must have changed 
very suddenly if this be true, for if there was a thing for which 
he was remarkable, it was his extreme gentleness and kindness 
of disposition. We have known him for three years (our two 
boys intimately), and he always shuddered at hurting any- 
thing, and was peculiarly gentle and kind towards children 
and animals, and if anything rather timid ; so that all who 
knew him said he never could have had a chance in his own 
country. His valet, who is a very respectable Englishman, 
and has been with him ever since his twelfth year, says that 
he never knew a kinder or more amiable disposition. The 
Queen fears that people who do not know him well have been 
led away by their present very natural feelings of hatred and 
distrust of all Indians to slander him. 

1 Lord Canning having promulgated a Proclamation in July, enjoining the Civil 
Servants of the Bast India Company to refrain from unnecessary severity, had earned 
the sobriquet of " Clemency Canning." 

2 See ante, p. 248. 


What he might turn out, if left in the hands of un- 
scrupulous Indians in his own country, of course no one 
can foresee. 

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, nth October 1857. 

The Queen has received yesterday evening the box with the 
Dockyard Returns. It will take her some time to peruse and 
study them ; she wishes, however, to remark upon two points, 
and to have them pointed out also to Sir Charles Wood, 1 viz. 
first, that they are dated some as early as the 27th August, and 
none later than the 10th September, and that she received 
them only on the \1th October ; and then that there is not one 
original Return amongst them, but they are all copies ! 
When the Queen asks for Returns, to which she attaches great 
importance, she expects at least to see them in original. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Clarendon. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 25th October 1857. 

The Queen returns these letters. It would be well if Lord 
Clarendon would tell Lord Bloomfield not to entertain the 
possibility of such a question as the Princess Royal's marriage 
taking place at Berlin. 2 The Queen never could consent to it, 
both for public and private reasons, and the assumption of 
its being too much for a Prince Royal of Prussia to come over to 
marry the Princess Royal of Great Britain IN England is too 
absurd, to say the least. The Queen must say that there never 
was even the shadow of a doubt on Prince Frederick William^ 
part as to where the marriage should take place, and she sus- 
pects this to be the mere gossip of the Berliners. Whatever 
may be the usual practice of Prussian Princes, it is not every 
day that one marries the eldest daughter of the Queen of 
England. The question therefore must be considered as 
settled and closed. . . . 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Clarendon. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 12th November 1857. 

The Queen thanks Lord Clarendon much for his kind and 
sympathising letter, and is much gratified at Count Persigny's 
kind note. He is a good, honest, warm-hearted man, for 
whom we have sincere esteem. The news from India was a great 

1 First Lord of the Admiralty. 

2 The marriage took place at the Chapel Royal, St James's. 


relief and a ray of sunshine in our great affliction. 1 The Queen 
had the happiness of informing poor Sir George Couper of the 
relief of Lucknow, in which for four months his son, daughter- 
in-law, and grandchildren were shut up. The loss of two such 
distinguished officers as Generals Nicholson and Neill, and alas ! 
of many inferior ones, is, however, very sad. 

We visited the house of mourning yesterday, and no words 
can describe the scene of woe. 2 There was the venerable 
Queen with the motherless children, admirable in her deep 
grief, and her pious resignation to the Will of God ! yet even 
now the support, the comfort of all, thinking but of others and 
ready to devote her last remaining strength and her declining 
years to her children and grandchildren. There was the 
broken-hearted, almost distracted widower her son and 
lastly, there was in one room the lifeless, but oh ! even in its 
ghostliness, most beautiful form of his young, lovely, and 
angelic wife, lying in her bed with her splendid hair covering 
her shoulders, and a heavenly expression of peace ; and 
in the next room, the dear little pink infant sleeping in 
its cradle. 

The Queen leaves to Lord Clarendon's kind heart to imagine 
what this spectacle of woe must be, and how deeply afflicted and 
impressed we must be who have only so lately had a child 
born to us and have been so fortunate ! The Prince has been 
completely upset by this ; and she was besides like a dear sister 
to us. God's will be done ! But it seems too dreadful almost 
to believe it too hard to bear. The dear Duchess's death 
must have been caused by some affection of the heart, for she 
was perfectly well, having her hair combed, suddenly ex- 
claimed to the Nurse, " Oh ! mon Dieu, Madame " her head 
fell on one side and before the Duke could run upstairs her 
hand was cold ! The Queen had visited her on Saturday 
looking well and yesterday saw her lifeless form in the very 
same spot ! 

If Lord Clarendon could give a slight hint to the Times to 
say a few words of sympathy on the awful and unparalleled 
misfortune of these poor exiles, she is sure it would be very 
soothing 'to their bleeding hearts. . . . The sad event at 
Claremont took place just five days later than the death of poor 

1 Havelock, in consequence of the strength of the rebels in Oudh, had been unable to 
march to the assistance of Lucknow immediately after the relief of Cawnpore. He 
joined hands with Outram on the 10th of September, and reinforced the Lucknow 
garrison on the 25th. 

a In a pathetic letter, just received, the Due de Nemours (second son of Louis Philippe) 
had announced the death of his wife, Queen Victoria's beloved cousin and friend. She 
was only thirty-five years of age, and had been married at eighteen. She had seemed to 
make a good recovery after the birth of a child on the 28th of October, but died quite 
suddenly on the 10th of November, while at her toilette. 


Princess Charlotte under very similar circumstances forty 
years ago ; and the poor Duchess was the niece of Princess 
Charlotte's husband. 

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria. 

DOWNING STREET, 12th November 1857. 

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty, and begs to state that the condition of financial 
affairs became worse to-day than it was yesterday. 1 The 
Governor of the bank represented that almost all private firms 
have ceased to discount bills, and that the Reserve Fund of 
the Bank of England, out of which discounts are made and 
liabilities satisfied, had been reduced last night to 1,400,000, 
and that if that fund should become exhausted the bank would 
have to suspend its operations. Under these circumstances it 
appeared to Viscount Palmerston, and to the Chancellor of the 
Exchequer, that a case had arisen for doing the same thing 
which was done under somewhat similar circumstances in 
1847 that is to say, that a letter should be written by the first 
Lord of the Treasury and the Chancellor of the Exchequer to 
the Governor of, the Bank of England, saying that if under 
the pressure of the emergency the bank should deem it neces- 
sary to issue more notes than the amount to which they are 
at present confined by law, the Government would apply to 
Parliament to grant them an indemnity. 

This Measure, in 1847, had the effect of stopping the then 
existing panic, and the necessity for making such an issue did 
not arise ; on the present occasion this announcement will, 
no doubt, have a salutary effect in allaying the present panic, 
but as the bank had to discount to-day bills to the amount of 
2,000,000, which they could not have done out of a fund of 
1,400,000, unless deposits and payments in, to a considerable 
amount, had been made, the probability is that the issue thus 
authorised will actually be made. The Governor and Deputy- 
Governor of the bank represented that the communication, 
in order to be effectual and to save from ruin firms which were 
in imminent danger, ought to be made forthwith, so that they 
might be enabled to announce it on the Stock Exchange before 
the closing of business at four o'clock. Viscount Palmerston 
and Sir George Lewis therefore signed at once, and gave to the 
Governor of the bank the letter of which the accompanying 

1 The financial crisis had originated in numerous stoppages of banks in the United 
States, where premature schemes of railway extension had involved countless investors 
in ruin ; in consequence, the pressure on firms and financial houses became even more 
acute than in 1847 ; see ante, vol. ii. pp. 130, 131. The bank rate now rose to 10 per 
cent, as against 9 per cent, in that year, and the bank reserve of bullion was alarmingly 


paper is a copy, the pressure of the matter not allowing time 
to take your Majesty's pleasure beforehand. 

The state of things now is more urgent than that which 
existed in 1847, when the similar step was taken ; at that time 
the Reserve Fund was about 1,900,000, last night it was only 
1,400,000 ; at that time the bullion in the bank was above 
8,000,000, it is now somewhat less than 8,000,000 ; at that 
time things were mending, they are now getting worse. 

But however necessary this Measure has been considered, 
and however useful it may be expected to be, it inevitably 
entails one very inconvenient consequence. The Government 
have authorised the bank to break the law, and whether the 
law shall actually be broken or not, it would be highly uncon- 
stitutional for the Government not to take the earliest oppor- 
tunity of submitting the matter to the knowledge of Parlia- 
ment. This course was pursued in 1847. The letter from 
Lord John Russell and Sir Charles Wood to the Governor of the 
bank was dated on the 25th October, Parliament then stood 
prorogued in the usual way to the 1 1th November, but a council 
was held on the 31st October, at which your Majesty sum- 
moned Parliament to meet for the despatch of business on the 
18th November ; and on that day the session was opened 
in the usual way by a Speech from the Throne. It would be 
impossible under present circumstances to put off till the 
beginning of February a communication to Parliament of the 
step taken to-day. 

Viscount Palmerston therefore would beg to submit for your 
Majesty's approval that a Council might be held at Windsor 
on Monday next, and that Parliament might then be sum- 
moned to meet in fourteen days. This would bring Parlia- 
ment together in the first days of December, and after sitting 
ten days, or a fortnight, if necessary, it might be adjourned till 
the first week in February. 1 

Viscount Palmerston submits an explanatory Memorandum 
which he has just received for your Majesty's information from 
the Chancellor of the Exchequer. . . . 

Queen Victoria to Lord Panmure. 

OSBORNE, 18th December 1857. 

The Queen has had some correspondence with Lord Pan- 
mure upon the Establishment of the Army for the next 

l Parliament accordingly met on the 3rd of December, and the Session was opened 
by the Queen in person. The Act of Indemnity was passed without serious opposition, 
and a select committee re-appointed to enquire into the operation of the Bank Charter 


financial year. 1 She wishes now to lay down the principle 
which she thinks ought to guide our decision, and asks Lord 
Palmerston to consider it with his colleagues in Cabinet. Last 
year we reduced our Army suddenly to a low peace establish- 
ment to meet the demand for reduction of taxation raised 
in the House of Commons. With this peace establishment we 
had to meet the extraordinary demands of India, we have 
sent almost every available regiment, battalion, and battery, 
and are forced to contemplate the certainty of a large increase 
of our force in India as a permanent necessity. What the 
Queen requires is, that a well-considered and digested estimate 
should be made of the additional regiments, etc., etc., so re- 
quired, and that after deducting this number from our estab- 
lishment of 1857-1858, that for the next year should be brought 
up again to the same condition as if the Indian demand, which 
is foreign to our ordinary consideration, had not arisen. If this 
be done it will still leave us militarily weaker than we were at 
the beginning of the year, for the larger English Army main- 
tained in India will require proportionally more reliefs and 
larger depots. 

As the Indian finances pay for the troops employed in 
India, the Force at home and in the colonies will, when 
raised to its old strength, not cost a shilling more than the 
peace establishment of 1857 settled under a pressure of 
financial reduction. 

Anything less than this will not leave this country in a safe 
condition. The Queen does not ask only for the same number 
of men as in 1857-1858, but particularly for Regiments of 
Cavalry, Battalions of Infantry and Batteries of Artillery, 
which alone would enable us in case of a war to effect the 
increase to a war establishment. 

The Queen encloses her answer to Lord Panmure's last 

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 24th December 1857. 

The Queen only now returns to Lord Palmerston the Memo- 
randum containing the Heads of an arrangement for the future 
Government of India, which the Committee of Cabinet have 
agreed to recommend. She will have an opportunity of seeing 
Lord Palmerston before the Cabinet meet again, and to hear 
a little more in detail the reasons which influenced the Com- 


1 On the 14th of December, the Queen had pressed the immediate formation of two 
new Cavalry Regiments. 

VOL. in 9 


mittee in their several decisions. She wishes only to recom- 
mend two points to Lord Palmerston's consideration : 1st, the 
mode of communication between the Queen and the new 
Government which it is intended to establish. As long as the 
Government was that of the Company, the Sovereign was 
generally left quite ignorant of decisions and despatches ; now 
that the Government is to be that of the Sovereign, and the 
direction will, she presumes, be given in her name, a direct 
official responsibility to her will have to be established. She 
doubts whether any one but a Secretary of State could speak 
in the Queen's name, like the Foreign Secretary to Foreign 
Courts, the Colonial Secretary to the Governors of the Colonies, 
and the Home Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland 
and the Lieutenants of the Counties of Great Britain, the 
Judges, Convocations, Mayors, etc., etc. On the other hand, 
would the position of a Secretary of State be compatible with 
his being President of a Council ? The Treasury and Ad- 
miralty act as " My Lords," but they only administer special 
departments, and do not direct the policy of a country in the 
Queen's name. The mixture of supreme direction, and also 
of the conduct of the administration of the department to be 
directed, has in practice been found as inconvenient in the 
War Department as it is wrong in principle. 

The other point is the importance of having only one Army, 
whether native, local, or general, with one discipline and one 
command, that of the Commander-in-Chief. This is quite 
compatible with first appointments to the native Army, being 
vested as a point of patronage in the members of the Council, 
but it ought to be distinctly recognised in order to do away 
with those miserable jealousies between the different military 
services, which have done more harm to us in India than, 
perhaps, any other circumstance. 

Perhaps Lord Palmerston would circulate this letter 
amongst the members of the Committee who agreed upon the 
proposed scheme ? 

Viscount Canning to Queen Victoria. 

GOVERNMENT HOUSE, CALCUTTA, 24th December 1857. 

Lord Canning presents his humble duty to your Majesty, 
and begs permission to express to your Majesty at the earliest 
opportunity the respectful gratitude with which he has re- 
ceived your Majesty's most gracious letter of the 9th of 

However certain Lord Canning might have been as to the 


sentiments with which your Majesty would view the spirit 
of bitter and unreasoning vengeance against your Majesty's 
Indian subjects with which too many minds are imbued in 
England as well as in this country, it has been an indescribable 
pleasure to him to read what your Majesty has condescended 
to write to him upon this painful topic. Your Majesty's 
gracious kindness in the reference made by your Majesty to 
what is said by the newspapers is also deeply felt by Lord 
Canning. He can truly and conscientiously assure your 
Majesty of his indifference to all such attacks an indifference 
so complete indeed as to surprise himself. 

Lord Canning fears that the satisfaction which your Majesty 
will have experienced very shortly after the date of your 
Majesty's letter, upon receiving the news of Sir Henry Have- 
lock's entry into Lucknow, will have been painfully checked 
by the long and apparently blank interval which followed, 
and during which your Majesty's anxieties for the ultimate 
safety of the garrison, largely increased by many precious 
lives, must have become more intense than ever. Happily, 
this suspense is over ; and the real rescue effected by a glorious 
combination of skill and intrepidity on the part of Sir Colin 
Campbell and his troops must have been truly gratifying to 
your Majesty. 1 The defence of Lucknow and the relief of the 
defenders are two exploits which, each in their kind, will stand 
out brightly in the history of these terrible times. 

. . . Lord Canning has not failed to transmit your Majesty's 
gracious message to Sir Colin Campbell, and has taken the 
liberty to add your Majesty's words respecting his favourite 
93rd, which will not be less grateful to the brave old soldier 
than the expression of your Majesty's consideration for 

Your Majesty has lost two most valuable officers in Sir 
Henry Havelock and Brigadier-General Neill. They were very 
different, however. The first was quite of the old school 
severe and precise with his men, and very cautious in his 
movements and plans but in action bold as well as skilful. 
The second very open and impetuous, but full of resources ; 
and to his soldiers as kind and thoughtful of their comfort as 
if they had been his children. 

With earnest wishes for the health and happiness of your 
Majesty and the Prince, Lord Canning begs permission to lay 
at your Majesty's feet the assurance of his most dutiful and 
devoted attachment. 

i Sir Colin Campbell had relieved Lucknow on the 17th of November, but Sir Henry 
Havelock (as he had now become) died from illness and exhaustion. General Neill had 
been killed on the occasion of the reinforcement in September, ante, p. 254. 


Queen Victoria to Lord Panmure. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 29th December 1857. 

The Queen has received Lord Panmure' s letter and Memo- 
randum of the 24th. She must say that she still adheres to 
her views as formerly expressed. Lord Panmure admits that 
the two plans don't differ materially in expense. It becomes, 
then, a mere question of organisation and of policy. As to 
the first, all military authorities of all countries and times 
agree upon the point that numerous cadres with fewer men give 
the readiest means of increasing an army on short notice, the 
main point to be attended to in a constitutional and democratic 
country like England. As to the second, a system of organisa- 
tion will always be easier defended than mere numbers 
arbitrarily fixed, and Parliament ought to have the possibility 
of voting more or voting fewer men, according to their views of 
the exigencies of the country, or the pressure of finance at 
different times, and to be able to do so without deranging the 

The Queen hopes Lord Panmure will look at our position, 
as if the Indian demands had not arisen, and he will find that 
to come to Parliament with the Cavalry borne on the estimates 
reduced by three regiments (as will be the case even after two 
shall have returned from India, and the two new ones shall 
have been formed), will certainly not prove too little anxiety 
on the part of the Government to cut down our military 


ON the 25th of January of the new year (1858) Prince Frederick 
William of Prussia (afterwards the Emperor Frederick) was married, 
with brilliant ceremonial, to the Princess Royal, at the Chapel Royal, 
St James's, an event marked by general national rejoicings ; another 
event in the private life of the Queen, but one of a melancholy 
character, was the death of the Duchess of Orleans at the age of 

A determined attempt was made by Orsini, Pierri, and others, 
members of the Carbonari Society, to assassinate the Emperor and 
Empress of the French by throwing grenades filled with detonating 
powder under their carriage. The Emperor was only slightly hurt, 
but several bystanders were killed, and very many more wounded. 
The plot had been conceived, and the grenades manufactured in 
England, and a violently hostile feeling was engendered in France 
against this country, owing to the prescriptive right of asylum enjoyed 
by foreign refugees. The French militaires were particularly vehe- 
ment in their language, and Lord Palmerston so far bowed to the 
demands of the French Foreign Minister as to introduce a Bill to 
make the offence of conspiracy to murder, a felony instead of, as it 
had previously been, a misdemeanour. The Conservative Party 
supported the introduction of the Bill, but, on the second reading, 
joined with eighy-four Liberals and four Peelites in supporting an 
Amendment by Mr Milner Gibson, postponing the reform of the 
Criminal Law till the peremptory demands of Count Walewski had 
been formally answered. The Ministry was defeated and resigned, 
and Lord Derby and Mr Disraeli returned to Office. Orsini and Pierri 
were executed in Paris, but the state trial in London of a Dr Bernard, 
a resident of Bayswater, for complicity, ended, mainly owing to the 
menacing attitude of France over the whole question, in an acquittal. 
The Italian nationality of the chief conspirators endangered, but 
only temporarily, the important entente between France and Sardinia. 

Before the resignation of the Ministry, the thanks of both Houses 
of Parliament were voted to the civil and military officers of India 
for their exertions in suppressing the Mutiny ; the Opposition en- 
deavoured to obtain the omission of the name of Lord Canning from 
the address, till his conduct of affairs had been discussed. The 
difficulties in India were not at an end, for Sir Colin Campbell had 
been unable to hold Lucknow, and had transferred the rescued gar- 
rison to Cawnpore, which he re-occupied. It was not till the end of 



March that Lucknow was captured by the Commander-in-Chief , who 
was raised to the peerage as Lord Clyde, after the taking of Jhansi 
and of Gwalior in Central India, by Sir Hugh Rose, had virtually 
terminated the revolt. 

In anticipation of the capture of Lucknow, the Governor-General 
had prepared a proclamation for promulgation in Oudh, announcing 
that, except in the case of certain loyal Rajahs, proprietary rights 
in the soil of the province would be confiscated. One copy ot the 
draft was sent home, and another shown to Sir James Outram, Chief 
Commissioner of Oudh, and, in consequence of the latter's protest 
against its severity, as making confiscation the rule and not the 
exception, an exemption was inserted in favour of such landowners 
as should actively co-operate in restoring order. On receiving the 
draft in its unaltered form, Lord Ellenborough, the new President of 
the Board of Control, forwarded a despatch to Lord Canning, strongly 
condemning his action, and, on the publication of this despatch, the 
Ministry narrowly escaped Parliamentary censure. Lord Ellen- 
borough himself resigned, and was succeeded by Lord Stanley. 
Attempts had been made by both Lord Palmerston and Lord Derby 
to pass measures for the better government of India. After two Bills 
had been introduced and withdrawn, the procedure by resolution 
was resorted to, and a measure was ultimately passed transferring 
the Government of India to the Crown. 

The China War terminated on the 26th of June, by the treaty of 
Tien-tsin, which renewed the treaty of 1842, and further opened up 
China to British commerce. A dispute with Japan led to a treaty 
signed at Yeddo by Lord Elgin and the representatives of the Tycoon, 
enlarging British diplomatic and trade privileges in that country. 

The Budget of Mr Disraeli imposed for the first time a penny stamp 
on bankers' cheques ; a compromise was arrived at on the Oaths 
question, the words " on the true faith of a Christian " having hitherto 
prevented Jews from sitting in Parliament. They were now enabled 
to take the oath with the omission of these words, and Baron 
Rothschild took his seat for the City of London accordingly. 

Among the other events of importance in the year were the satis- 
factory termination of a dispute with the Neapolitan Government 
arising out of the seizure of the Cagliari ; a modified union, under a 
central Commission, of Moldavia and Wallachia ; the despatch of 
Mr Gladstone by the Conservative Government as High Commis- 
sioner to the Ionian Islands ; and the selection of Ottawa, formerly 
known as Bytown, for the capital of the Dominion of Canada. 



Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, ~L2th January 1858. 

MY DEAREST UNCLE, Accept my warmest thanks for your 
kind and affectionate letter of the 8th. I hope and trust to 
hear that your cold has left you, and that on Monday I shall 
have the immense happiness of embracing you. 

It is a time of immense bustle and agitation ; I feel it is 
terrible to give up one's poor child, and feel very nervous for 
the coming time, and for the departure. But I am glad to 
see Vicky is quite well again and unberufen has got over her 
cold and is very well. But she has had ever since January '57 
a succession of emotions and leave-takings most trying to 
any one, but particularly to so young a girl with such very 
powerful feelings. She is so much improved in self-control 
and is so clever (I may say wonderfully so), and so sensible 
that we can talk to her of anything and therefore shall miss 
her sadly. But we try not to dwell on or to think of that, as 
I am sure it is much better not to do so and not get ourselves 
emus beforehand, or she will break down as well as we, and that 
never would do. 

To-day arrive (on a visit here) her Court which is a very 
good thing, so that she will get acquainted with them. . . . 

The affection for her, and the loyalty shown by the country 
at large on this occasion is most truly gratifying and for so 
young a child really very, very pleasing to our feelings. The 
Nation look upon her, as Cobden said, as " England's daughter," 
and as if they married a child of their own, which is very 
satisfactory, and shows, in spite of a few newspaper follies and 
absurdities, how really sound and monarchical everything is 
in this country. Now, with Albert's love, ever your devoted 

Queen Victoria to tlie King of the Belgians. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 9th February 1858. 

MY DEAREST UNCLE, Accept my warmest thanks for your 
very kind and affectionate letter of the 4th, with such kind 



accounts of our dear child, who was so thankful for your 
kindness and affection, and of whose immense and universal 
success and admirable behaviour natural yet dignified we 
have the most charming accounts. I send you a letter from 
Augusta 1 (Mecklenburg), which will give you an idea of the 
impression produced, begging you to let me have it back soon. 
She is quite well and not tired. But the separation was awful, 
and the poor child was quite broken-hearted, particularly at 
parting from her dearest beloved papa, whom she idolises. 
How we miss her, I can't say, and never having been separated 
from her since thirteen years above a fortnight, I am in a 
constant fidget and impatience to know everything about 
everything. It is a great, great trial for a Mother who has 
watched over her child with such anxiety day after day, 
to see her far away dependent on herself ! But I have 
great confidence in her good sense, clever head, kind and 
good heart, in Fritz's excellent character and devotion to 
her, and in faithful E. Stockmar, who possesses her entire 

The blank she has left behind is very great indeed. . . . 

To-morrow is the eighteenth anniversary of my blessed 
marriage, which has brought such universal blessings on this 
country and Europe ! For what has not my beloved and 
perfect Albert done ? Raised monarchy to the highest pinnacle 
of respect, and rendered it popular beyond what it ever was in 
this country ! 

The Bill proposed by the Government to improve the law 
respecting conspiracy and assassination will pass, and Lord 
Derby has been most useful about it. 2 But people are very 
indignant here at the conduct of the French officers, and at the 
offensive insinuations against this country. 3 . . . 

Hoping to hear that you are quite well, and begging to 
thank Leopold very much for his very kind letter, believe me, 
your devoted Niece, VICTORIA R. 

1 Elder daughter of Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, and now Grand Duchess-Dowager 
of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. 

2 Lord Derby and his party, however, changed their attitude in the next few days, 
and succeeded in putting the Government in a minority. 

3 On the 14th of January, the assassination of the French Emperor, which had been 
planned in England by Felice Orsini and other refugees, was attempted. On the arrival 
of the Imperial carriage at the Opera House in the Rue Lepelletier, explosive hand- 
grenades were thrown at it, and though the Emperor and Empress were unhurt, ten people 
were either killed outright or died of their wounds, and over one hundred and fifty were 
injured. Notwithstanding the scene of carnage, their Majesties maintained their com- 
posure and sat through the performance of the Opera. In the addresses of congratula- 
tion to the Emperor on his escape (published, some of them inadvertently, in the official 
Moniteur), officers commanding French regiments used language of the most insulting 
character to England, and Count Walewski, the French Foreign Minister, in a despatch, 
recommended the British Government to take steps to prevent the right of asylum being 


Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria. 

PICCADILLY, I9th February 1858. 

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty, and is sorry to have to inform your Majesty that the 
Government were beat this evening on Mr Milner Gibson's 1 
Amendment by a majority of 19, 2 the numbers being for his 
Amendment, 234, and against it 215. 

Mr Milner Gibson began the Debate by moving his Amend- 
ment in a speech of considerable ability, but abounding in 
misrepresentation, which nevertheless produced a marked 
effect upon the House. Mr Baines followed, but only argued 
the Bill without replying to Mr Gibson's speech. This was 
remarked upon by Mr Walpole, who followed him, and who 
said that though he approved of the Bill he could not vote for 
reading it a second time until Count Walewski's despatch had 
been answered. Mr MacMahon supported the Amendment, 
as did Mr Byng. Sir George Grey, who followed Mr Walpole, 
defended the Bill and the course pursued by the Government 
in not having answered Count Walewski's despatch until after 
the House of Commons should have affirmed the Bill by a 
Second Reading. Mr Spooner remained steady to his purpose, 
and would vote against the Amendment, though in doing so 
he should differ from his friends. Lord Harry Vane opposed 
the Amendment, as interfering with the passing of the Bill, 
and Mr Bentinck took the same line, and replied to some of 
the arguments of Mr Milner Gibson. Mr Henley said he 
should vote for the Amendment. The Lord Advocate made a 
good speech against it. Mr Gladstone spoke with his usual 
talent in favour of the Amendment, and was answered by the 
Attorney-General in a speech which would have convinced 
men who had not taken a previous determination. He was 
followed by Mr Disraeli, who seemed confident of success, and 
he was replied to by Viscount Palmerston, and the House then 

It seems that Lord Derby had caught at an opportunity of 
putting the Government in a minority. He saw that there 
were ninety-nine Members who were chiefly of the Liberal 

1 Mr Milner Gibson had found a seat at Ashton-under-Lyne. 

2 The Conspiracy BUI aimed at making conspiracy to murder a felony, instead of, as 
it had previously been, a misdemeanour, and leave had been given by a large majority to 
introduce it ; but when Count Walewski's despatch to Count de Persigny came to be pub- 
lished, the feeling gained ground that the Government had shown undue subservience in 
meeting the representations of the French Ambassador. The despatch had not actually 
been answered, although verbal communications had taken place. The opposition to 
the BUI was concerted by Lord John Russell and Sir James Graham ; see Parker's Sir 
James Graham, vol. ii. p. 236, and the observation of the Prince, post, p. 268. The 
purport of the Amendment was to postpone any reform in the criminal law till the 
French despatch had been replied to. 

VOL. in 9* 


Party, who had voted against the Bill when it was first pro- 
posed, and who were determined to oppose it in all its stages. 
He calculated that if his own followers were to join those 
ninety-nine, the Government might be run hard, or perhaps be 
beaten, and he desired all his friends 1 to support Mr Milner 
Gibson ; on the other hand, many of the supporters of the 
Government, relying upon the majority of 200, by which 
the leave to bring the Bill in had been carried, and upon the 
majority of 145 of last night, had gone out of town for a few 
days, not anticipating any danger to the Government from 
Mr Gibson's Motion, and thus an adverse division was ob- 
tained. Moreover, Count Walewski's despatch, the tone and 
tenor of which had been much misrepresented, had produced 
a very unfavourable effect on the mind of members in general, 
and there was a prevailing feeling very difficult to overcome, 
that the proposed Bill was somehow or other a concession to 
the demand of a Foreign Government. The Cabinet will have 
to consider at its meeting at three o'clock to-morrow what 
course the Government will have to pursue. 

Memorandum by the Prince Albert. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 2lst February 1858. 

Lord Palmerston came at five o'clock from the Cabinet, and 
tendered his resignation in his own name, and that of his 
Colleagues. The Cabinet had well considered their position 
and found that, as the vote passed by the House, although the 
result of an accidental combination of parties, was virtually 
a vote of censure upon their conduct, they could not with 
honour or with any advantage to the public service carry on 
the Government. 

The combination was the whole of the Conservative Party 
(Lord Derby's followers), Lord John Russell, the Peelites, 
with Mr Gladstone and the whole of the Radicals ; but the 
Liberal Party generally is just now very angry with Lord 
Palmerston personally, chiefly on account of his apparent 
submission to French dictation, and the late appointment of 
Lord Clanricarde as Privy Seal, who is looked upon as a repro- 
bate. 2 Lord Clanricarde's presence in the House of Commons 

1 See Ashley's Life of Lord Palmerston, vol. ii. p. 146. 

2 Since his triumph at the polls in 1857, Lord Palmerston had been somewhat arbitrary 
in his demeanour, and had defied public opinion by taking Lord Clanricarde into the 
Government, after some unpleasant disclosures in the Irish Courts. While walking 
home on the 18th, after obtaining an immense majority on the India Bill, he was told 
by Sir Joseph Bethell that he ought, like the Roman Consuls in a triumph, to have some 
one to remind him that he was, as a minister, not immortal. Next day he was defeated. 


during the Debate, and in a conspicuous place, enraged many 
supporters of Lord Palmerston to that degree that they voted 
at once with the Opposition. 

The Queen wrote to Lord Derby the letter here following ; 1 
he came a little after six o'clock. He stated that nobody was 
more surprised in his life than he had been at the result of 
the Debate, after the Government had only a few days before 
had a majority of more than 100 on the introduction of their 
Bill. He did not know how it came about, but thought it 
was the work of Lord John Russell and Sir James Graham in 
the interest of the Radicals ; Mr Gladstone's junction must 
have been accidental. As to his own people, they had, owing 
to his own personal exertions, as the Queen was aware, though 
many very unwillingly, supported the Bill ; but the amend- 
ment of Mr Milner Gibson was so skilfully worded, that it was 
difficult for them not to vote for it ; he had to admit this 
when they came to him to ask what they should do, merely 
warning them to save the Measure itself, which the Amend- 
ment did. He then blamed the Government very much 
for leaving Count Walewski's despatch unanswered before 
coming before Parliament, which he could hardly understand. 

On the Queen telling him that the Government had resigned, 
and that she commissioned him to form a new Administration, 
he begged that this offer might not be made to him without 
further consideration, and would state clearly his own posi- 
tion. After what had happened in 1851 and 1855, if the 
Queen made the offer he must accept it, for if he refused, the 
Conservative Party would be broken up for ever. Yet he 
would find a majority of two to one against him in the House 
of Commons, would have difficulty in well filling the important 
offices, found the external and internal relations of the country 
in a most delicate and complicated position, war in India 
and in China, difficulties with France, the Indian Bill intro- 
duced and a Reform Bill promised ; nothing but the for- 
bearance and support of some of his opponents would make 
it possible for him to carry on any Government. The person 
who was asked first by the Sovereign had always a great dis- 
advantage ; perhaps other combinations were possible, which, 
if found not to answer, would make him more readily accepted 
by the country. The position of Lord Palmerston was a most 
curious one, the House of Commons had been returned chiefly 
for the purpose of supporting him personally, and he had 
obtained a working majority of 100 (unheard of since the 
Reform Bill), yet his supporters had no principles in common 

i Summoning him to advise her. 


and they generally suspected him ; the question of the Reform 
Bill had made him and Lord John run a race for popularity 
which might lead to disastrous consequences. Lord Derby 
did not at all know what support he would be able to obtain 
in Parliament. 

The Queen agreed to deferring her offer, and to take further 
time for consideration on the understanding that if she made 
it it would at once be accepted. Lord Derby expressed, 
however, his fear that the resignation of the Palmerston 
Cabinet might only be for the purpose of going through a 
crisis in order to come back again with new strength, for there 
existed different kinds of resignations, some for this purpose, 
others really for abandoning office. 

A conversation which I had with Lord Clarendon after 
dinner, convinced me that the Cabinet had sent in their re- 
signations from the real conviction of the impossibility to go 
on with honour and success ; all offers of the friends of the 
Government to pass a vote of confidence, etc., etc., had been 
rejected. Lord Derby was the only man who could form a 
Government ; Mr Gladstone would probably join him. The 
whole move had been planned, and most dexterously, by Sir 
James Graham. ALBEET. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Derby. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 2lst February 1858. 

The Queen has reconsidered the question of the formation 
of a new Government as she had settled with Lord Derby 
yesterday, and now writes to him to tell him that further 
reflection has only confirmed her in her former resolution to 
offer the task to Lord Derby. The resignation of the present 
Government is the result of a conscientious conviction on 
their part, that, damaged by the censure passed upon them 
in the House of Commons, they cannot with honour to them- 
selves, or usefulness to the country, carry on public affairs, 
and Lord Derby is at the head of the only Party which affords 
the materials of forming a new Government, is sufficiently 
organised to secure a certain support, and which the country 
would accept as an alternative for that hitherto in power. 
Before actually offering any specific office to anybody, Lord 
Derby would perhaps have another interview with the Queen ; 
but it would be right that he should have satisfied himself 
a little as to his chances of strengthening his hands before she 
sees him. With regard to the position of the India Bill, 
the Queen must also have a further conversation with him. 

1858] LORD DERBY'S VIEW 269 

The Earl of Derby to Queen Victoria. 

ST JAMES'S SQUARE, 2Ist February 1858. 

Lord Derby, with his humble duty, begs your Majesty to 
accept his grateful acknowledgment of the signal mark of 
your Majesty's favour, with which he has this morning been 
honoured. Encouraged by your Majesty's gracious confidence, 
he does not hesitate to submit himself to your Majesty's 
pleasure, and will address himself at once to the difficult 
task which your Majesty has been pleased to entrust to him. 
He fears that he can hardly hope, in the formation of a Govern- 
ment, for much extrinsic aid ; as almost all the men of emi- 
nence in either House of 'Parliament are more or less associated 
with other parties, whose co-operation it would be impossible 
to obtain. Lord Derby will not, however, hesitate to make 
the attempt in any quarters, in which he may think he has 
any chance of success. With regard to the filling up of par- 
ticular offices, Lord Derby would humbly beg your Majesty 
to bear in mind that, although among his own personal friends 
there will be every desire to make individual convenience 
subservient to the public interest, yet among those who are 
not now politically connected with him, there may be some, 
whose co-operation or refusal might be greatly influenced 
by the office which it was proposed that they should hold ; 
and, in such cases, Lord Derby must venture to bespeak 
your Majesty's indulgence should he make a definite offer, 
subject, of course, to your Majesty's ultimate approval. 

As soon as Lord Derby has made any progress in his pro- 
posed arrangements, he will avail himself of your Majesty's 
gracious permission to solicit another Audience. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Derby. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 2lst February 1858. 

The Queen has just received Lord Derby's letter, and 
would wish under all circumstances to see him at six this 
evening, in order to hear what progress he has made in his 
plans. The two offices the Queen is most anxious should not 
be prejudged in any way, before the Queen has seen Lord 
Derby again, are the Foreign and the War Departments. 

The Earl of Derby to Queen Victoria. 

ST JAMES'S SQUARE, 2lst February 1858. 

Lord Derby, with his humble duty, submits to your Majesty 
the two letters which he has this evening received from Lord 


Grey and Mr Gladstone. 1 The reasons contained in the 
latter do not appear to Lord Derby to be very conclusive ; 
but he fears the result must be that he cannot look, in the 
attempt to form a Cabinet, to much extraneous assistance. 
With deep regret Lord Derby is compelled to add that he 
finds he cannot rely with certainty on the support of his son 
as a member of his proposed Cabinet. 2 Still, having under- 
taken the task he has in obedience to your Majesty's com- 
mands, Lord Derby will not relax in his efforts to frame such 
a Government as may be honoured with your Majesty's 
gracious approval, and prove itself equal to the emergency 
which calls it together. 

While in the very act of putting up this letter, Lord Derby 

1 Lord Grey wrote " I am much obliged to you for the manner in which you have 
asked my assistance in performing the task confided to you by Her Majesty. 

" I am not insensible to the danger of the present crisis, or to the duty it imposes on 
public men, of giving any aid in their power towards forming an Administration which 
may command respect. I am also aware that the settlement of the important political 
questions, on which we have differed, has removed many of the obstacles which would 
formerly have rendered my acting with you impracticable. Upon the other hand, upon 
carefully considering the present state of affairs and the materials at your disposal (espe- 
cially in the Houso of Commons) for forming an Administration, and that all the political 
friends with whom I have been connected, would probably be opposed to it, I do not 
think it would be either useful to you or honourable to myself that I should singly join 
your Government." 

Mr Gladstone wrote " I am very sensible of the importance of the vote taken on 
Friday, and I should deeply lament to see the House of Commons trampled on in con- 
sequence of that vote. The honour of the House is materially involved in giving it full 
effect. It would therefore be my first wish to aid, if possible, in such a task ; and re- 
membering the years when we were colleagues, I may be permitted to say that there is 
nothing in the fact of your being the Head of a Ministry, which would avail to deter me 
from forming part of it. 

" Among the first questions I have had to put to myself in consequence of the offer, 
which you have conveyed to me in such friendly and nattering terms, has been the 
question, whether it would be in my power by accepting it, either alone, or in concert 
with others, to render you material service. 

" After the long years, during which we have been separated, there would be various 
matters of public interest requiring to be noticed between us ; but the question I have 
mentioned is a needful preliminary. 

" Upon the best consideration which the moment allows, I think it plain that alone, 
as I must be, I could not render you service worth your having. 

" The dissolution of last year excluded from Parliament men with whom I had sym- 
pathies, and it in some degree affected the position of those political friends with whom 
I have now for many years been united, through evil and (much more rarely) good report. 

" Those who lament the rupture of old traditions may well desire the reconstruction 
of a Party ; but the reconstitution of a Party can only be effected, if at all, by the re- 
turn of the old influences to their places, and not by the junction of one isolated person. 

" The difficulty is now enhanced in my case by the fact that in your party, reduced us 
it is at the present moment in numbers, there is a small but active and not unimportant 
section, who avowedly regard me as the representative of the most dangerous ideas. I 
should thus, unfortunately, be to you a source of weakness in the heart of your own 
adherents, while I should bring you no Party or group of friends to make up for their 
defection or discontent. 

" For the reasons which I have thus stated or glanced at, my reply to your letter must 
be in the negative. 

" I must, however, add that a Government formed by you at this time will in my opinion 
have strong claims upon me, and upon any one situated as I am, for favourable pre- 
sumptions, and in the absence of conscientious difference on important questions, for 

" I have had an opportunity of seeing Lord Aberdeen and Sidney Herbert, and they 
fully concur in the sentiment I have just expressed." 

2 See ante, p. 148. 


has received one, which he also presumes to enclose to your 
Majesty, from Lord St Leonards, alleging his advanced age 
as a reason for not accepting the Great Seal which he formerly 
held. This reply has been wholly unexpected ; and it is 
yet possible that Lord St Leonards may be induced, at least 
temporarily, to withdraw his resignation. Should it, however, 
prove otherwise, and Lord Derby should succeed in making 
his other arrangements, he would humbly ask your Majesty's 
permission to endeavour to persuade Mr Pemberton Leigh to 
accept that high office, of course accompanied by the honour 
of the Peerage, which he is aware has been already on more 
than one occasion offered to him. Lord Derby begs to add 
that he has not had the slightest communication with Mr 
Pemberton Leigh on the subject, nor has the least idea as to 
his feelings upon it. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Derby. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 22nd February 1858. 

The Queen acknowledges Lord Derby's letter of yesterday, 
and returns him these three letters. She much regrets that 
he cannot reckon on the support and assistance in the Govern- 
ment, which he is about to form, of such able men. The 
Queen authorises Lord Derby to offer the office of Lord Chan- 
cellor with a Peerage to Mr Pemberton Leigh ; but she fears 
from what passed on previous occasions that he is not likely 
to accept it. 1 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Derby. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 22nd February 1858. 

The Queen has had a long conversation with the Duke of 
Newcastle, which however ended, as Lord Derby will have 
expected from what the Duke must have told him, in his 
declaring his conviction that he could be of no use to the 
new Government by joining it, or in persuading his friends 
to change their minds as to joining. The Duke was evidently 
much pleased by the offer, but from all he said of his position, 
the Queen could gather that it was in vain to press him further. 

The Earl of Derby to Queen Victoria. 

ST JAMES'S SQUARE, 25th February 1858. 

Lord Derby presents his humble duty to your Majesty, 
and fears that after your Majesty's most gracious acceptance 

1 He declined the office, and the Great Seal was offered to and accepted by Sir Frederick 
Thesiger, who was created Lord Chelmsford. 



[CHAP, xxvn 

of the propositions which he has made, he may appear to 
your Majesty very vacillating, in having at the last moment 
to submit to your Majesty another change. . . . But he 
finds that Lord John Manners, though he consented to take 
the Colonial Department, would infinitely prefer resuming 
his seat at the Board of Works ; and on the urgent representa- 
tion of his Colleagues that the Government would be streng- 
thened by such a step, Lord Stanley has consented to accept 
office ; and the arrangement which he would now venture 
humbly to submit to your Majesty would be the appointment 
of Lord Stanley to the Colonial Secretaryship, and Lord John 
Manners to the Board of Works. . . . 

The Ministry as it 

stood on the 1st of 

January 1858. 








(afterwards LORD 


(afterwards EARL 


Sir G. C. LEWIS 

The Ministry as formed 
by the Earl of Derby 
in February 1858. 

First Lord 

(Without Office). 
Lord Chancellor 
President of the 


Lord Privy Seal 
Home Secretary 
Foreign Secretary . 

Colonial Secretary . 

of the } EAEL OF DERBY. 

War Secretary 

/ BURY. 



(afterwards EABL 

General PEEL. 

(afterwards VIS- 

(afterwards Lord 


Mr M. T. BAINES . 


First Lord 



President of 


! (afterwards EARL 


-| (afterwards LORD 

* [ HAMPTON). 


(Not in the Cabinet) 


Board of Control \ BOROUGH. 

President of the 

Board of Trade 
Chancellor of the 

Duchy of Lancastei 

Postmaster-General (Not in the Cabinet.) 
First Commissioner "] LORD JOHN MAN- 

of Works and V NERS (afterwards 

Public Buildings } DUKE OF RUTLAND). 


e } , ,, _. . Jt 
r } ( Not m the 

1858] THE ORSINI PLOT 273 

The Earl of Malmesbury to Queen Victoria. 

WHITEHALL, 7th March 1858. 

The Earl of Malmesbury presents his humble duty to the 
Queen, and has the honour to thank your Majesty for the 
interesting letter 1 sent to him by your Majesty, and which 
he returns to your Majesty by this messenger. Lord Malmes- 
bury hopes and believes that much of the excitement that 
prevailed on the other side the water is subsiding. All his 
letters from private sources, and the account of Colonel Clare- 
mont, agree on this point. In this country, if our differences 
with France are settled, it is probable that the popular jealousy 
of foreign interference will be killed ; but at least for some 
time it will show foreign Courts how dangerous it is even to 
criticise our domestic Institutions. Lord Malmesbury has 
carefully abstained from giving Lord Cowley or M. de Persigny 
the slightest hope that we could alter the law, but has con- 
fined himself to saying that the law was itself as much on its 
trial as the prisoners Bernard and Truelove. 2 If, therefore, 
the law should prove to be a phantom of justice, or anomalous 
in its action, whatever measures your Majesty's Government 
may hereafter take to reform it, it will be received by France 
as an unexpected boon and a proof of good faith and amity. 

In attending to the idea referred to by your Majesty that 
the Emperor took the oath of the Assassins' Society, Lord 
Malmesbury can almost assure your Majesty that such is not 
the case. 3 Lord Malmesbury first made His Majesty's ac- 
quaintance in Italy when they were both very young men 
(twenty years of age). They were both under the influence 

1 This was a letter from the Prince de Chimay to the King of the Belgians in reference 
to the Orsini plot. 

2 Before Lord Palmerston's Government had retired, Simon Bernard, a resident of 
Bayswater, was committed for trial for complicity in the Orsini attentat. He was com- 
mitted for conspiracy only, but, at the instance of the new Government, the charge was 
altered to one of feloniously slaying one of the persons killed by the explosion. As this 
constructive murder was actually committed on French soil, Bernard's trial had, under 
the existing law, to be held before a Special Commission, over which Lord Campbell 
presided. The evidence overwhelmingly established the prisoner's guilt, but, carried 
away by the eloquent, if irrelevant, speech of Mr Edwin James for the defence, the jury 
acquitted him. Truelove was charged with criminal libel, for openly approving, in a 
published pamphlet, Orsini's attempt, and regretting its failure. The Government 
threw up the prosecution, pusillanimously in the judgment of Lord Campbell, who re- 
cords that he carefuly studied, with a view to his own hearing of the case, the proceedings 
against Lord George Gordon for libelling Marie Antoinette, against Vint for libelling the 
Emperor Paul, and against Peltier for libelling Napoleon I. 

3 The Queen had written : " There are people who pretend that the Emperor, who 
was once a member of the Carbonari Club of Italy, and who is supposed to be condemned 
to death by the rules of that Secret Society for having violated his oath to them, has 
offered them to pardon Orsini, if they would release him from his oath, but that the 
Society refused the offer. The fact that all the attempts have been made by Italians, 
Orsini's letter, and the almost mad state, of fear in which the Emperor seems to be now, 
would give colour to that story." Orsini had written two letters to the Emperor, one 
read aloud at his trial by his counsel, Jules Favre, the other while lying under sentence 
of death. He entreated the Emperor to secure Italian independence. 


of those romantic feelings which the former history and the 
present degradation of Italy may naturally inspire even at a 
more advanced time of life and the Prince Louis Napoleon, 
to the knowledge of Lord Malmesbury, certainly engaged 
himself in the conspiracies of the time but it was with the 
higher class of the Carbonari, men like General Sercognani 
and General Pepe. The Prince used to talk to Lord Malmes- 
bury upon these men and their ideas and plans with all the 
openness that exists between two youths, and Lord Malmes- 
bury has many times heard him condemn with disgust the 
societies of villains which hung on the flank of the conspirators, 
and which deterred many of the best families and ablest 
gentlemen in Romagna from joining them. Lord Malmesbury 
believes the report therefore to be a fable, and at some future 
period will, if it should interest your Majesty, relate to your 
Majesty some details respecting the Emperor's share in the 
conspiracies of 1828-1829. . . . 

Mr Disraeli to Queen Victoria. 

HOUSE OF COMMONS, 12th March 1858. 

The Chancellor of the Exchequer with his humble duty to 
your Majesty. 

The Opposition benches very full ; the temper not kind. 

The French announcement, 1 which was quite unexpected, 
elicited cheers, but only from the Ministerial side, which, he 
confesses, for a moment almost daunted him. 

Then came a question about the Cagliari affair, 2 on which 
the Government had agreed to take a temperate course, in 
deference to their predecessors but it was not successful. 
The ill-humour of the House, diverted for a moment by the 
French news, vented itself on this head. 

What struck the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the course 
of the evening most was the absence of all those symptoms 
of " fair trial," etc., which have abounded of late in journals 
and in Society. 

Lord John said something ; Mr Gladstone said something ; 
but it was not encouraging. 

Nevertheless, in 1852 " fair trial " observations abounded, 

1 Parliament reassembled on the 12th of March, and Mr Disraeli then stated that the 
" painful misconceptions " which had for some time existed between England and Franco 
had been " terminated in a spirit entirely friendly and honourable." 

2 Two English engineers, Watt and Park, had been on the Sardinian steamer Cagliari 
when she was seized by the Neapolitan Government, and her crew, including the en- 
gineers, imprisoned at Naples. At the instance of the Conservative Government, who 
acted more vigorously than their predecessors had done, the engineers were released, and 
3,000 paid to them as compensation. 

1858] THE NAVY 275 

and the result was not satisfactory ; now it may be the 

The House is wild and capricious at this moment. 

Your Majesty once deigned to say that your Majesty 
wished in these remarks to have the temper of the House 
placed before your Majesty, and to find what your Majesty 
could not meet in newspapers. This is the Chancellor of the 
Exchequer's excuse for these rough notes, written on the 
field of battle, which he humbly offers to your Majesty. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Derby. 

OSBORNE, 15th March 1858. 

The Queen sends to Lord Derby a Memorandum on the 
state of preparation of our Navy in case of a war, the import- 
ance of attending to which she has again strongly felt when 
the late vote of the House of Commons endangered the con- 
tinuance of the good understanding with France. The whole 
tone of the Debate on the first night of the reassembly of 
Parliament has shown again that there exists a great dis- 
position to boast and provoke foreign Powers without any 
sincere desire to investigate our means of making good our 
words, and providing for those means which are missing. 

The Queen wishes Lord Derby to read this Memorandum 
to the Cabinet, and to take the subject of which it treats 
into their anxious consideration. 

The two appendices, stating facts, the one with regard to 
the manning of the Navy by volunteers with the aid of boun- 
ties, the other with regard to impressment, have become 
unfortunately more lengthy than the Queen had wished, 
but the facts appeared to her so important that she did not 
like to have any left out. 

Mr Disraeli to Queen Victoria. 

HOUSE OP COMMONS, 22nd March 1858. 
(Monday, half-past eight o'clock.) 

The Chancellor of the Exchequer with his humble duty 
to your Majesty. 

This evening was a great contrast to Friday. House very 
full on both sides. . . . 

Mr B. Osborne commenced the general attack, of which 
he had given notice ; but, after five years' silence, his weapons 
were not as bright as of yore. He was answered by the 
Government, and the House, which was very full, became 
much excited. The Ministerial benches were in high spirit. 


The Debate that ensued, most interesting and sustained. 

Mr Horsman, with considerable effect, expressed the opinions 
of that portion of the Liberal Party, which does not wish to 
disturb the Government. 

Lord John Russell vindicated the Reform Bill of 1832 from 
the attacks of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and with 
great dignity and earnestness. 

He was followed by Mr Drummond on the same subject in i 
a telling epigram. Then Lord Palmerston, in reply to the j 
charges of Mr Horsman, mild and graceful, with a sarcastic 
touch. The general impression of the House was very favour- 
able to the Ministry ; all seemed changed ; the Debate had 
cleared the political atmosphere, and, compared with our 
previous state, we felt as if the eclipse was over. 

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 23rd March 1858. 

MY DEAREST UNCLE, You will, I trust, forgive my letter 
being short, but we have only just returned from Aldershot, 
where we went this morning, and really have been quite- 
baked by a sun which was hardly hotter in August, and 
without a breath of wind. . . . 

Good Marie * has not answered me, will you remind her ? 
I did tell her I hoped for her child's 2 sake she would give up 
the nursing, as we Princesses had other duties to perform. 
I hope she was not shocked, but I felt I only did what was 
right in telling her so. 

I grieve to say we lose poor Persigny, which is a real loss 
but he would resign. Walewski behaved ill to him. The 
Emperor has, however, named a successor which is really a 
compliment to the Army and the Alliance and besides a 
distinguished and independent man, viz. the Due de Mala- 
khoff. 3 This is very gratifying. 

In all this business, Pelissier has, I hear, behaved extremely 
well. I must now conclude. Ever your devoted Niece, 


Mr Disraeli to Queen Victoria. 

HOUSE OP COMMONS, 23rd March 1858. 

The Chancellor of the Exchequer with his humble duty to 
your Majesty. 

1 Marie Henrietta, Duchess of Brabant, afterwards Queen of the Belgians ; died 1902. 

2 Princess Louise of Belgium was born on the 4th of February. 

3 Formerly General Pelissier ; see ante, p. 143, note. 


The discussion on the Passport Question, this evening, was 
not without animation ; the new Under-Secretary, Mr Fitz- 
gerald, 1 makes way with the House. He is very acute and 
quick in his points, but does not speak loud enough. His 
tone is conversational, which is the best for the House of 
Commons, and the most difficult ; but then the conversation 
should be heard. The general effect of the discussion was 
favourable to the French Government. 

In a thin House afterwards, the Wife's Sister Bill was 
brought in after a division. Your Majesty's Government 
had decided among themselves to permit the introduction, 
but a too zealous member of the Opposition forced an inop- 
portune division. 

Mr Disraeli to Queen Victoria. 

HOUSE OP COMMONS, 25th March 1858. 

The Chancellor of the Exchequer with his humble duty to 
your Majesty. 

The Lease of the Lord-Lieutenancy was certainly renewed 
to-night and for some years. The majority was very great 
against change at present, and the future, which would justify 
it, it was agreed, should be the very decided opinion of the 
Irish members. It was left in short to Ireland. 

The Debate was not very animated, but had two features 
a most admirable speech by Lord Naas, 2 quite the model of 
an official statement, clear, calm, courteous, persuasive, and 
full of knowledge ; it received the praises of both sides. 

The other incident noticeable was Mr Roebuck's reply, 
which was one of the most apt, terse, and telling I well 
remember, and not bitter. 

Mr Disraeli to Queen Victoria. 

HOUSE OF COMMONS, izth April. 
(Tuesday night.) 

The Chancellor of the Exchequer with his humble duty to 
your Majesty. 

The night tranquil and interesting Lord Bury, with much 
intelligence, introduced the subject of the Straits Settlements ; 3 

1 William Robert Seymour Vesey Fitzgerald, M.P. for Horsham 1852-1865. He 
was Governor of Bombay 1867-1872. 

2 Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant, afterwards (as Earl of Mayo) Viceroy of 
India, assassinated in the Andaman Islands, 1872. 

3 These detached provinces were at this time under the control of the Governor- 
General of India ; but in 1867 they were formed into a Crown Colony. 


the speech of Sir J. Elphinstone, 1 master of the subject, and 
full of striking details, produced a great effect. His vindica- 
tion of the convict population of Singapore, as the moral 
element of that strange society, might have been considered 
as the richest humour, had it not been for its unmistakable 

His inquiry of the Governor's lady, who never hired any 
servant but a convict, whether she employed in her nursery 
" Thieves or Murderers ? " and the answer, " Always mur- 
derers," was very effective. . . . 

The Secretary of State having sent down to the Chancellor 
of the Exchequer the telegram of the fall of Lucknow, 2 the 
Chancellor of the Exchequer read it to the House, having 
previously in private shown it to Lord Palmerston and others 
of the late Government. 

After this a spirited Debate on the conduct of Members of 
Parliament corruptly exercising their influence, in which the 
view recommended by the Government, through Mr Secretary 
Walpole, was adopted by the House. 

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 2nd April 1858. 

MY DEAR UNCLE, I am sure you will kindly be interested 
in knowing that the Examination and Confirmation of Bertie 
have gone off extremely well. 3 Everything was conducted 
as at Vicky's, and I thought much of you, and wished we could 
have had the happiness of having you there. I enclose a 
Programme. The examination before the Archbishop and 
ourselves by the Dean on Wednesday was long and difficult, 
but Bertie answered extremely well, and his whole manner 
and Gemuthsstimmung yesterday, and again to-day, at the 
Sacrament to which we took him, was gentle, good, and 
proper. . . . Now, good-bye, dear Uncle. Ever your devoted 

Queen Victoria to Sir John Pakington. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 12th April 1858. 

The Queen has received Sir John Pakington' s letter of the 
10th, and thanks him for the transmission of the printed 
copy of his confidential Memorandum. 

1 Sir J. D. H. Elphinstone, Conservative member for Portsmouth, afterwards a Lord 
of the Treasury. 

2 Sir Colin Campbell had at length obtained entire possession of the city, which had 
been in the hands of the rebels for nine months. 

3 See the Prince Consort's letter to Stockmar, Life of the Prince Consort, vol. iv. p. 205. 


The object of the paper which the Queen sent from Osborne 
to Lord Derby was to lead by a thorough investigation to an 
exact knowledge of the state of our Naval preparations in 
the event of a war, with the view to the discovery and sug- 
gestion of such remedies as our deficiencies imperatively 
demand. This investigation and thorough consideration the 
Queen expects from her Board of Admiralty, chosen with 
great care, and composed of the most competent Naval 
Authorities. She does not wish for the opinion of this or that 
person, given without any responsibility attaching to it, nor 
for mere returns prepared in the Office for the First Lord, 
but for the collective opinion of Sir John Pakington and his 
Board with the responsibility attaching to such an opinion 
given to the Sovereign upon a subject upon which the safety 
of the Empire depends. The Queen has full confidence in 
the honour of the gentlemen composing the Board, that they 
will respect the confidential character of the Queen's com- 
munication, and pay due regard to the importance of the 
subject referred to them. 

Mr Disraeli to Queen Victoria. 

HOUSE OP COMMONS, 12th April 1858. 
(Monday night.) 

The Chancellor of the Exchequer with his humble duty to 
your Majesty. 

House reassembled full. Chancellor of Exchequer much 
embarrassed with impending statement, on the part of your 
Majesty's servants, that they intended to propose Resolutions 
on the Government of India, instead of at once proceeding 
with their Bill. 1 

Received, five minutes before he took his seat, confidential 
information, that Lord John Russell, wishing to defeat the 
prospects of Lord Palmerston, and himself to occupy a great 
mediatory position, intended, himself, to propose the mezzo- 
termine of resolutions ! 

Chancellor of Exchequer felt it was impossible, after having 
himself introduced a Bill, to interfere with the Resolutions of 
an independent member, and one so weighty and distinguished : 
therefore, confined his announcement to the Budget on Monday 
week, and consequent postponement of India Bill. 

Soon after, Lord John rose, and opened the case, in a spirit 

l Lord Palmerston had obtained leave, by a large majority, to introduce an India 
Bill, vesting the Government of India in a Council nominated by the Crown. On his 
accession to office, Mr Disraeli proposed that the Council should be half nominative and 
half elective, and in particular that London, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, and Belfast 
should each be entitled to elect one member. These proposals were widely condemned, 
and especially by Mr Bright. 


most calm and conciliatory to the House, and to your Majesty's 

The Chancellor of Exchequer responded, but with delicacy, 
not wishing rudely to deprive Lord John of his position in the 
matter ; deeming it arrogant but the real opposition, ex- 
tremely annoyed at all that was occurring, wishing, at the 
same time, to deprive Lord John of the mediatory position, 
and to embarrass your Majesty's Government with the task 
and responsibility of preparing and introducing the resolutions, 
insisted upon Government undertaking the task. As the 
Chancellor of Exchequer read the sketch of the Resolutions 
in his box, this was amusing ; he undertook the responsibility, 
thus urged, and almost menaced ; Lord John, though greatly 
mortified at not bringing in the Resolutions himself, for it is 
since known they were prepared, entirely and justly acquits 
Chancellor of Exchequer of any arrogance and intrusion, and 
the affair concludes in a manner dignified and more than 
promising. It is now generally supposed that after the various 
Resolutions have been discussed, and passed, the Bill of your 
Majesty's servants, modified and reconstructed, will pass 
into a law. 

The Chancellor of Exchequer will have a copy of the 
Resolutions, though at present in a crude form, made and 
forwarded to your Majesty, that they may be considered 
by your Majesty and His Royal Highness. Chancellor of 
Exchequer will mention this to Lord Derby, through whom 
they ought to reach your Majesty. 

After this unexpected and interesting scene, because it 
showed, in its progress, a marked discordance between Lord 
John and Lord Palmerston, not concealed by the latter chief, 
and strongly evinced by some of his principal followers, for 
example, Sir C. Wood, Mr Hall, Mr Bouverie, the House went 
into Committee on the Navy Estimates which Sir J. Pakington 
introduced in a speech, lucid, spirited, and comprehensive. 
The feeling of the House as to the maintenance of the Navy 
was good. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Malmesbury. 


The Queen has received a draft to Lord Cowley on the Danish 
Question, 1 which she cannot sanction as submitted to her. 
The question is a most important one, and a false step on our 

1 The dispute as to the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein. The German Diet had 
refused to ratify the Danish proposal that Commissioners should be appointed by Ger- 
many and Denmark to negotiate an arrangement of their differences. Lord Malmesbury 
had written that the Governments (including England) which had hitherto abstained from 


part may produce a war between France and Germany. The 
Queen would wish Lord Malmesbury to call here in the course 
of to-morrow, when the Prince could discuss the matter with 
him more fully. 

Mr Disraeli to Queen Victoria. 

HOUSE OF COMMONS, 7th May 1858. 

The Chancellor of the Exchequer with his humble duty to 
your Majesty. 

At half -past four o'clock, before the Chancellor of the Ex- 
chequer could reach the House, the Secretary of the Board of 
Control had already presented the Proclamation of Lord 
Canning, and the despatch thereon of Lord Ellenborough, 
without the omission of the Oudh passages. 1 

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has employed every means 
to recall the papers, and make the necessary omissions, and 
more than once thought he had succeeded, but unhappily the 
despatch had been read by Mr Bright, and a considerable 
number of members, and, had papers once in the possession 
of the House by the presentation of a Minister been surrepti- 
tiously recalled and garbled, the matter would have been 
brought before the House, and the production of the complete 
documents would have been ordered. 

In this difficult and distressing position the Chancellor of 
the Exchequer, after consultation with his colleagues in the 
House of Commons, thought it best, and, indeed, inevitable, 
to submit to circumstances, the occurrence of which he deeply 
regrets, and humbly places before your Majesty. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Derby. 


. The Queen has received Lord Derby's letter of last night, 
and was glad to see that he entirely concurs with her in the 
advantage and necessity of appointing a Commission to con- 
interference, should now take measures to guard against any interference with the 
integrity of the Danish Monarchy. The Queen and Prince considered that the attitude 
of the British Government was unnecessarily pro-Danish. 

1 See Introductory Note, ante, p. 262. The draft proclamation (differing from the 
ultimate form in which it was issued), with a covering despatch, were sent home to the 
Board of Control by Lord Canning, who at the same time wote ar> unofficial letter to Mr 
Vernon Smith, then President of the Board, stating that he had not been able to find time 
before the mail left to explain his reasons for adopting what appeared a somewhat merci- 
less scheme of confiscation. This letter Mr. Vernon Smith omitted to show to Lord 
Ellenborough, his successor. Lord Bllenborough thereupon wrote a despatch, dated the 
19th of April, reprobating the Governor-General for abandoning the accustomed policy 
of generous conquerors, and for inflicting on the mass of the population what they would 
feel as the severest of punishments. Thia despatch was made public in England, as will 
be seen from the dates, before it could possibly have reached Lord Canning. 


sider the question of the organisation of the future Army of 
India. 1 She only hopes that no time will be lost by the reference 
to the different bodies whom Lord Derby wishes previously 
to consult, and she trusts that he will not let himself be over- 
ruled by Lord Ellenborough, who may very likely consider the 
opinion and result of the labours of a Committee as entirely 
valueless as compared with his own opinions. 

The Queen has not the same confidence in them, and is, 
therefore, doubly anxious to be advised by a body of the most 
competent persons after most careful enquiry. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Derby. 


The Queen has received Lord Derby's letter of yesterday. 
She is very sorry for the further complication likely to arise 
out of the communication to the House of Commons of the 
despatch in full, which is most unfortunate, not less so than 
the communication of it previously to Mr Bright and his 
friends. The Queen is anxious not to add to Lord Derby's 
difficulties, but she must not leave unnoticed the fact that the 
despatch in question ought never to have been written without 
having been submitted to the Queen. She hopes Lord Derby 
will take care that Lord Ellenborough will not repeat this, 
which must place her in a most embarrassing position. 

The Earl of Ellenborough to Queen Victoria. 

EATON SQUARE, 10th May 1858. 

Lord Ellenborough presents his most humble duty to your 
Majesty, and regarding the present difficult position of your 
Majesty's Government as mainly occasioned by the presenta- 
tion to Parliament of the letter to the Governor-General with 
reference to the Proclamation in Oudh, for which step he 
considers himself to be solely responsible, he deems it to be his 
duty to lay his resignation at your Majesty's feet. 

Lord Ellenborough had no other object than that of making 
it unmistakably evident to the Governor as well as to the 
governed in India that your Majesty was resolved to temper 
Justice with Clemency, and would not sanction any measure 
which did not seem to conduce to the establishment of per- 
manent peace. 2 

1 The Queen had written that she thought the Commission should be composed of 
officers of the Home and the Indian Armies, some politicians, the Commander-in-Chief, 
the President of the Board of Control, with the Secretary-for-War as President. 

2 On the same day Lord Shaftesbury in the Lords and Mr Card well in the Commons 
gave notice of Motions censuring the 'Government for Lord Ellenborough's despatch. 
The debates commenced on the 14th. 

1858] A CRISIS 283 

Memorandum by the Prince Albert. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, llth May 1858. 

Lord Derby had an Audience at twelve o'clock. He said 
he had received a copy of Lord Ellenborough's letter, and had 
told him that should the Queen consult him (Lord Derby) he 
should advise her to accept the resignation, Lord Ellenborough 
had behaved in the handsomest manner, and expressed his 
belief that he had brought bad luck to the Government, for 
this was now the second difficulty into which they had got by 
his instrumentality, the first having been the Election Clause 
in the India Bill. Lord Derby hoped that this resignation 
would stop the vote of censure in the House of Commons, as 
the House could not hold responsible and punish the Cabinet 
for that with which they had had no concern. If the House 
persisted, it was clear that the motives were factious, and he 
hoped the Queen would allow him to threaten a Dissolution of 
Parliament, which he was certain would stop it. The Queen 
refused to give that permission ; she said he might leave it 
quite undecided whether the Queen would grant a Dissolution 
or not, and take the benefit of the doubt in talking to others on 
the subject ; but she must be left quite free to act as she 
thought the good of the country might require at the time 
when the Government should have been beat ; there had 
been a Dissolution within the year, and if a Reform Bill was 
passed there must be another immediately upon it ; in the 
meantime most violent pledges would be taken as to Reform 
if a general election were to take place now. Lord Derby con- 
curred in all this, and said he advised the threat particularly 
in order to render the reality unnecessary ; when she per- 
sisted in her refusal, however, on the ground that she could 
not threaten what she was not prepared to do, he appeared 
very much disappointed and mortified. 

We then discussed the state of the question itself, and urged 
the necessity of something being done to do away with the 
injurious impression which the publication of the despatch 
must produce in India, as the resignation of Lord Ellenborough 
left this quite untouched, and Parliament might with justice 
demand this. He agreed, after much difficulty, to send a 
telegraphic despatch, which might overtake and mitigate the 
other. On my remark that the public were under the impres- 
sion that there had been collusion, and that Mr Bright had 
seen the despatch before he asked his question for its pro- 
duction, he denied this stoutly, but let us understand that Mr 
Bright had known of the existence of such a despatch, and 


had wished to put his question before, but had been asked to 
defer it until Lord Canning's Proclamation should have ap- 
peared in the newspapers ! (This is nearly as bad ! !) The 
Queen could not have pledged herself to dissolve Parliament 
in order to support such tricks ! ALBEBT. 

It was arranged that Lord Derby should accept Lord Ellen- 
borough's resignation in the Queen's name. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Ellenborough. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, llth May 1858. 

The Queen has to acknowledge Lord Ellenborough's letter, 
which she did not wish to do before she had seen Lord Derby. 

The latter has just left the Queen, and will communicate to 
Lord Ellenborough the Queen's acceptance of his resignation, 
which he has thought it right to tender to her from a sense of 
public duty. 

The Earl of Derby to Queen Victoria. 

ST JAMES'S SQUARE [llth May]. 
(9 P.M., Tuesday.) 

Lord Derby, with his humble duty, submits to your Majesty 
the expression of his hope that the discussion, or rather con- 
versation, which has taken place in the House of Lords this 
evening, may have been not only advantageous to the Govern- 
ment, but beneficial in its results to the public service. . . . 

After the discussion, Lord Ellenborough made his state- 
ment ; and it is only doing bare justice to him to say that he 
made it in a manner and spirit which was most highly honour- 
able to himself, and was fully appreciated by the House. 

Public sympathy was entirely with him, especially when he 
vindicated the policy which he had asserted, but took upon 
himself the whole and sole responsibility of having authorised 
the publication of the despatch which he vindicated and 
announced his own resignation rather than embarrass his 
colleagues. Lord Grey shortly entered his protest against 
bringing into discussion the policy of the Proclamation and of 
the consequent despatch, into which Lord Ellenborough had 
certainly entered too largely, opposing, very broadly, the 
principle of confiscation against that of clemency. Lord Derby 
followed Lord Grey, and after an interruption on a point of 
form, vindicated the policy advocated in Lord Ellenborough's 
despatch, at the same time that he expressed not only his hope, 


but his belief, that in practice the Governor-General would be 
found (and more especially judging from the alterations in- 
serted in the last Proclamation of which an unofficial copy has 
been received) acting on the principles laid down in Lord 
Ellenborough's despatch. In the tribute which he felt it his 
duty to pay to the personal, as well as political, character of 
Lord Ellenborough, the House concurred with entire unanimity 
and all did honour to the spirit which induced him to sacrifice 
his own position to the public service ; and to atone, and 
more than atone, for an act of indiscretion by the frank avowal 
that he alone was responsible for it. Lord Derby thinks 
that the step which has been taken may, even probably, pre- 
vent the Motions intended to be made on Friday ; and if 
made, will, almost certainly, result in a majority for the 

Lord Derby believes that he may possibly be in time to 
telegraph to Malta early to-morrow, to Lord Canning. In that 
case he will do himself the honour of submitting to your Majesty 
a copy of the message * sent, though he fears it will be impos- 
sible to do so before its despatch. He proposes in substance 
to say that the publication has been disapproved that Lord 
Ellenborough has resigned in consequence but that your 
Majesty's Government adhere in principle to the policy laid 
down in the despatch of 19th April, and entertain an earnest 
hope that the Governor-General, judging from the modifica- 
tions introduced into the amended Proclamation, has, in fact, 
the intention of acting in the same spirit ; but that your 
Majesty's Government are still of opinion that confiscation 
of private property ought to be made the exception, and not 
the rule, and to be enforced only against those who may stand 
out after a certain day, or who may be proved to have been 
guilty of more than ordinary crimes. 

Lord Derby hopes that your Majesty will excuse a very 
hasty sketch of a very large subject. 

1 The Earl of Derby to Lord Lyons. 

12th May 1858. 

Send on the following message to Lord Canning by the Indian mail. 

The publication of the Secret Despatch of 19th April has been disapproved. Lord 
Ellenborough has resigned office. His successor has not been appointed. Nevertheless 
the policy indicated in the above despatch is approved by Her Majesty's Government. 
Confiscation of property of private individuals (Talookdars and others) ought to be the 
exception and not the rule. It ought to be held out as a penalty on those who do not 
come in by a given day. Prom your amended Proclamation it is hoped that such is your 
intention. Let it be clearly understood that it is so. You were quite right in issuing 
no Proclamation till after a signal success. That once obtained, the more generous the 
terms, the better. A broad distinction must be drawn between the Talookdars of Oudh 
and the Sepoys who have been in our service. Confidence is felt in your judgment. 
You will not err if you lean to the side of humanity, especially as to nations of Oudh. 

No private letters have been received from you since the change of Government. 


Queen Victoria to the Earl of Derby. 

I4th May 1858. 

The Queen returns the extracts Lord Derby has sent to her. 
Lord Ellenborough's despatch, 1 now before her for the first 
time, is very good and just in principle. But the Queen would 
be much surprised if it did not entirely coincide with the views 
of Lord Canning, at least as far as he has hitherto expressed 
any in his letters. So are also the sentiments written by Sir 
J. Lawrence ; they contain almost the very expressions 
frequently used by Lord Canning. 

Sir J. Login, 2 who holds the same opinion, and has great 
Indian experience, does not find any fault with the Proclama- 
tion, however seemingly it may sound at variance with these 
opinions, and this on account of the peculiar position of affairs 
in Oudh. It is a great pity that Lord Ellenborough, with his 
knowledge, experience, activity, and cleverness, should be so 
entirely unable to submit to general rules of conduct. The 
Queen has been for some time much alarmed at his writing 
letters of his own to all the most important Indian Chiefs 
and Kings explaining his policy. All this renders the position 
of a Governor-General almost untenable, and that of the 
Government at home very hazardous. 

Memorandum by Sir Charles Phipps. 

[Undated. ? 15th May 1858.] 

Upon being admitted to Lord Aberdeen, I informed him 
that the Queen and Prince were anxious to hear his opinion 
upon the present most unfortunate state of affairs, but that, 
knowing how easily every event was perverted in such times as 
the present, Her Majesty and His Royal Highness had thought 
that it might have been subject to misapprehension had he 
been known to have been at Buckingham Palace, and 
that I had been therefore directed to call upon him, with a 
view of obtaining his opinion and advice upon certain im- 
portant points. 

The first was the question of a Dissolution of Parliament in 
the event of the Government being defeated upon the question 
which was at present pending. I told him that I was per- 
mitted to communicate to him in the strictest confidence, that 
in a late Audience which Lord Derby had with the Queen, he 
had asked her permission to be allowed to announce that, in 

1 This was a later despatch of Lord Ellenborough's, also in reference to the pacificatioa 
of Oudh, and not shown to the Cabinet before it was sent. 

2 See ante, p. 248. 


the event of an adverse majority, he had Her Majesty's sanction 
to a Dissolution of Parliament. 

That the Queen had declined to give such sanction, or even 
such a pledge, and equally guarded herself against being sup- 
posed to have made up her mind to refuse her sanction to a 
Dissolution, had told Lord Derby that she could not then make 
any prospective decision upon the subject. I told him that 
in point of fact Her Majesty was disinclined to grant to Lord 
Derby her authority for a Dissolution, but that the Queen 
had at once refused to grant to Lord Derby her sanction for 
making the announcement he wished, as she considered that 
it would be a very unconstitutional threat for him to hold 
over the head of the Parliament, with her authority, by way 
of biassing their decision. 

Lord Aberdeen interrupted me by saying that the Queen 
had done quite right that he never heard of such a request 
being made, or authority for such an announcement being 
sought and he could not at all understand Lord Derby 
making such an application. He knew that the Government 
had threatened a Dissolution, that he thought that they had a 
perfect right to do so, but that they would have been quite 
wrong in joining the Queen's name with it. 

He said that he had never entertained the slightest doubt that 
if the Minister advised the Queen to dissolve, she would, as a 
matter of course, do so. The Minister who advised the Dis- 
solution took upon himself the heavy responsibility of doing so, 
but that the Sovereign was bound to suppose that the person 
whom she had appointed as a Minister was a gentleman and an 
honest man, and that he would not advise Her Majesty to take 
such a step unless he thought that it was for the good of the 
country. There was no doubt of the power and prerogative of 
the Sovereign to refuse a Dissolution it was one of the very 
few acts which the Queen of England could do without re- 
sponsible advice at the moment ; but even in this case 
whoever was sent for to succeed, must, with his appointment, 
assume the responsibility of this act, and be prepared to defend 
it in Parliament. 

He could not remember a single instance in which the un- 
doubted power of the Sovereign had been exercised upon this 
point, and the advice of the Minister to dissolve Parliament 
had been rejected for it was to be remembered that Lord 
Derby would be still at this time her Minister and that the 
result of such refusal would be that the Queen would take 
upon herself the act of dismissing Lord Derby from office, in- 
stead of his resigning from being unable longer to carry on 
the Government. 


The Queen had during her reign, and throughout the numer- 
ous changes of Government, maintained an unassailable 
position of constitutional impartiality, and he had no hesita- 
tion in saying that he thought it would be more right, and 
certainly more safe, for her to follow the usual course, than to 
take this dangerous time for exercising an unusual and, he 
believed he might say, an unprecedented, course, though the 
power to exercise the authority was undoubted. 

He said that he did not conceive that any reasons of ex- 
pediency as to public business, or the possible effects of frequent 
general elections, would be sufficient grounds for refusing a 
Dissolution (and reasons would have to be given by the new 
Minister in Parliament), and, as he conceived, the only possible 
ground that could be maintained as foundation for such an 
exercise of authority would be the fearful danger to the exist- 
ence of our power in India, which might arise from the in- 
temperate discussion upon every hustings of the proceedings 
of the Government with respect to that country as the ques- 
tion proposed to the country would certainly be considered 
to be severity or mercy to the people of India. 

Upon the second point, as to a successor to Lord Derby in 
the event of his resignation, he said that the Queen would, he 
thought, have no alternative but to send for Lord Palmerston. 
The only other person who could be suggested would be Lord 
John Russell, and he was neither the mover of the Resolutions 
which displaced the Government, nor the ostensible head of 
the Opposition, which the late meeting at Cambridge House 
pointed out Lord Palmerston to be. That he was not very 
fond of Lord Palmerston, though he had forgiven him all, and 
he had had much to forgive ; and that in the last few days it 
had appeared that he had less following than Lord John ; but 
the Queen could not act upon such daily changing circum- 
stances, and it was evident that Lord Palmerston was the 
ostensible man for the Queen to send for. 

Lord Aberdeen seemed very low upon the state of public 
affairs. He said that the extreme Liberals were the only Party 
that appeared to gain strength. Not only was the Whig Party 
divided within itself, hated by the Radicals, and having a very 
doubtful support from the independent Liberals, but even the 
little band called the Peelites had entirely crumbled to pieces. 
In the House of Lords, whilst the Duke of Newcastle voted 
with the Opposition, he (Lord Aberdeen) had purposely ab- 
stained from voting, whilst, in the House of Commons, Card- 
well moved the Resolution, and Mr Sidney Herbert would, he 
believed, vote for it ; Gladstone would speak on the other side, 
and Sir J. Graham would also vote with the Government. 


He concluded by saying that if the majority against the 
Government was a very large one, he thought that Lord Derby 
ought not to ask to dissolve ; but that he knew that the 
members of the Government had said that the present Parlia- 
ment was elected upon a momentary Palmerstonian cry, and 
was quite an exceptional case, and that they would not consent 
to be driven from office upon its verdict. 

Memorandum by the Prince Albert. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 16th May 1858. 

We saw Lord Derby after church. He brought interesting 
letters from Lord Canning to Lord Ellenborough, of which 
copies follow here. It is evident that Lord Canning thinks 
that he is taking a most merciful course, and expects pacifica- 
tion from his " Proclamation," attributing the slow coming in of 
the chiefs to the Proclamation not being yet sufficiently known. 

Lord Ellenborough's, and indeed the Government's, hearts, 
must have had curious sensations in reading Lord Canning's 
frank declaration, that he did not mean to resign on hearing 
of the formation of the Tory Government unless told to do so, 
and he had no fears that he would be treated in a way implying 
want of confidence to make him resign, feeling safe as to that 
in Lord Ellenborough's hands ! 

Lord Derby spoke much of the Debate, which he expects to 
go on for another week. He expects to be beaten by from 
15 to 35 votes under present circumstances, but thinks still 
that he could be saved if it were known that the Queen had not 
refused a Dissolution, which was stoutly maintained by Lord 
Palmerston's friends. He begged again to be empowered to 
contradict the assertion. The Queen maintained that it would 
be quite unconstitutional to threaten Parliament, and to use 
her name for that purpose. Lord Derby quite agreed, and dis- 
claimed any such intention, but said there were modes of 
letting the fact be known without any risk. We agreed that 
we could not enter into such details. The Queen allowed him 
(Lord Derby) to know that a Dissolution would not be refused 
to him, and trusted that her honour would be safe in his hands 
as to the use he made of that knowledge. He seemed greatly 
relieved, and stated that had he had to resign, he would have 
withdrawn from public business, and the Conservative Party 
would have been entirely, and he feared for ever, broken up. 
On a Dissolution he felt certain of a large gain, as the country 
was in fact tired of the " Whig Family Clique " ; the Radicals, 
like Mr Milner Gibson, Bright, etc., would willingly support 
a Conservative Government. ALBERT. 

VOL. in 10 


Mr Disraeli to Queen Victoria?- 

HOUSE OP COMMONS, 2lst May 1858. 

The Chancellor of the Exchequer with his humble duty to 
your Majesty. 

The fullest House ; it is said 620 Members present ; it was 
supposed we should have divided at three o'clock in the morn- 
ing ; Mr Gladstone was to have spoken for the Government at 
half-past ten very great excitement when there occurred 
a scene perhaps unprecedented in Parliament. 

One after another, perhaps twenty Members, on the Opposi- 
tion benches, rising and entreating Mr Cardwell to withdraw 
his Resolution. After some time, silence on the Government 
benches, Mr Cardwell went to Lord John Russell, then to Lord 
Palmerston, then to Lord John Russell again, then returned to 
Lord Palmerston, and retired with him. 

What are called the interpellations continued, when suddenly 
Lord Palmerston reappeared ; embarrassed, with a faint smile ; 
addressed the House ; and after various preluding, announced 
the withdrawal of the Motion of Censure. 

A various Debate followed ; the Chancellor of the Ex- 
chequer endeavouring, as far as regards Lord Canning, to fulfil 
your Majesty's wishes. It is impossible to estimate the im- 
portance of this unforeseen event to your Majesty's servants. 
It has strengthened them more than the most decided division 
in their favour, for it has revealed complete anarchy in the 
ranks of their opponents. With prudence and vigilance all 
must now go right. 

The speech of Sir James Graham last night produced a very 
great effect. No report gives a fair idea of it. The great 
country gentleman, the broad views, the fine classical allusions, 
the happiest all omitted, the massy style, contrasted remark- 
ably with Sir Richard Bethell. 

The Earl of Derby to Queen Victoria. 

ST JAMES'S SQUARE, 23rd May 1858. 
(Sunday night.) 

Lord Derby, with his humble duty, gratefully acknowledges: 
your Majesty's gracious letter just received, and the tele- 
graphic message with which he was honoured in answer to his 

1 Lord Shaftesbury's Motion in the Lords had been lost by a majority of nine. In 
the Commons, Mr Cardwell was replied to in a brilliant speech by Sir Hugh Cairns, the 
Solicitor-General. The speeches of Sir James Graham, Mr Bright, and others, showed 
that the Opposition was disunited, and when it was understood that Mr Gladstone would 
support the Ministry, the Liberal attack collapsed. Mr Disraeli, deprived of the satis- 
faction of making an effective reply, subsequently compared the discomfiture of his op- 


on Friday night. Your Majesty can hardly be expected to 
estimate, at a distance from the immediate scene of action, the 
effect of the event of that evening. It was the utter ex- 
plosion of a well-constructed mine, under the feet, not of the 
assailed, but of the assailants ; and the effect has been the 
greater from the immense attendance in London of Members 
of the House of Commons. No effort had been spared. Lord 
Castlerosse, only just married, had been sent for from Italy 
but Lord Derby hopes that he had not been induced to come 
for nothing. It is said that of the 654 Members of whom 
the House is composed, 626 were actually in London. The 
Government could rely on 304 to 308, and the whole question 
turned on the absence, or the conversion, of a small number of 
" Liberal " Members. The result is to be attributed to two 
causes ; first, and principally, to the fear of a Dissolution, and 
to the growing conviction that in case of necessity your Majesty 
would sanction such a course, which had been strenuously 
denied by Lord Palmerston and in which Lord Derby hopes 
that your Majesty will have seen that your Majesty's name has 
never, for a moment, been brought in question ; and secondly, 
to the effect produced by the correspondence between the 
Governor-General and Sir James Outram. 1 And here Lord 
Derby may perhaps be allowed the opportunity of removing 
a misconception from your Majesty's mind, as to any secret 
intelligence or underhand intrigue between Lord Ellenborough 
and Sir James Outram, to the detriment of Lord Canning. 
Lord Derby is in the position to know that if there is one 
person in the world to whom Lord Ellenborough has an utter 
aversion, and with whom he has no personal or private corre- 
spondence, it is Sir James Outram. Anything therefore in 
common in their opinions must be the result of circumstances 
wholly irrespective of private concert. Lord Derby has 
written fully to Lord Canning, privately, by the mail which 
will go out on Tuesday ; and while he has not concealed from 
him the opinion of your Majesty's servants that the Proclama- 
tion, of which so much has been said, conveyed too sweeping an 
Edict of Confiscation against the landowners, great and small, 
of Oudh, he has not hesitated to express also his conviction that 
Lord Canning's real intentions, in execution, would not be 
found widely to differ from the views of your Majesty's ser- 
vants. He has expressed to Lord Canning his regret at the 

ponents to an earthquake in Calabria or Peru. " There was," he said, in the course of 
a speech at Slough, " a rumbling murmur, a groan, a shriek, a sound of distant thunder. 
No one knew whether it came from the top or bottom of the House. There was a rent, 
a fissure in the ground, and then a village disappeared, then a tall tower toppled down, 
and the whole of the Opposition benches became one great dissolving view of anarchy." 
1 Especially Outram's remonstrance against what he considered the excessive severity 
of the Proclamation. 


premature publication of the Draft Proclamation, at the same 
time that he has pointed out the injustice done both to your 
Majesty's Government and to the Governor-General by the 
(Lord Derby will hardly call it fraudulent) suppression of the 
private letters addressed to the President of the Board of Con- 
trol, and deprecating judgment on the text of the Proclama- 
tion, until explanation should be received. Lord Derby 
cannot but be of opinion that this suppression, of which Lord 
Palmerston was fully cognisant, was an act which no political 
or party interests were sufficient to justify. 

The state of the Government, during the late crisis, was such 
as to render it impossible to make any arrangement for filling 
up Lord Ellenborough's place at the Board of Control. Ap- 
plication has since been made to Mr Gladstone, 1 with the 
offer of that post, or of that of the Colonial Department, 
which Lord Stanley would give up for the convenience of your 
Majesty's Government, though unwillingly, for India. Mr 
Gladstone demurred, on the ground of not wishing to leave 
his friends ; but when pressed to name whom he would wish 
to bring with him, he could name none. Finally, he has 
written to ask advice as to his course of Sir James Graham, 
who has returned to Netherby, and of Lord Aberdeen ; and 
by them he will probably be guided. Should he finally 
refuse, Lord Stanley must take India ; and the Colonies must 
be offered in the first instance to Sir E. B. Lytton, who pro- 
bably will refuse, as he wants a Peerage, and is doubtful of 
his re-election ; and failing him, to Sir William Heathcote, 
the Member for the University of Oxford, who, without 
official experience, has great Parliamentary knowledge and 
influence, and, if he will accept, is quite equal to the duties 
of the office. Lord Derby trusts that your Majesty will 
forgive this long intrusion on your Majesty's patience. He 
has preferred the risk of it, to leaving your Majesty 
uninformed as to anything which was going on, or con- 
templated. . . . 

If Lord Dalhousie should be in a state to converse upon 
public affairs, there is no one with whom Lord Derby could 
confer more confidentially than with him ; nor of whose 
judgment, though he regrets to differ with him as to the 
annexation of Oudh, he has a higher opinion. He will 
endeavour to ascertain what is his present state of health, 
which he fears is very unsatisfactory, and will see and 
converse with him, if possible. 

l See Mr Disraeli's curious letter printed in Morley's Gladstone, vol. i. p. 587, asking 
Mr Gladstone whether the time had not come when he might deign to be magnanimous. 
Sir E. B. Lytton accepted the office. 


Queen Victoria to the Earl of Derby. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 4th June 1858. 

The Queen has to thank Lord Derby for his satisfactory 
letter received yesterday. She has heard from Mr Disraeli 
to-day relative to the answer given by him to the question 
asked yesterday in the House of Commons as to what the 
Government meant to do. 1 He says that he hears there are 
rumours of other Motions on the subject. These the Queen 
hopes there will be no difficulty in defeating. 

The Duke of Cambridge seems rather uneasy altogether, 
but the Queen, though equally anxious about it, owns she 
cannot contemplate the possibility of any real attempt to 
divest the Crown of its prerogative in this instance. The Army 
will not, she feels sure, stand it for a moment, and the Queen 
feels sure, that if properly denned and explained, the House 
of Commons will not acquiesce in any such disloyal proceeding. 

The Queen does not understand Lord John Russell's voting 
with the majority, for she never understood him to express 
any such opinion. 

Mr Disraeli to Queen Victoria. 

HOUSE OP COMMONS, 24th June 1858. 

The Chancellor of the Exchequer with his humble duty to 
your Majesty. 

The India Bill was read a second time without a division. 2 
Lord Stanley made a clear and vigorous exposition of its spirit 
and provisions ; Mr Bright delivered a powerful oration on 
the condition of India its past government and future 
prospects ; the rest of the discussion weak and desultory. 

No serious opposition apprehended in Committee, which the 
Chancellor of the Exchequer has fixed for this day (Friday) 3 
and almost hopes that he may conclude the Committee on 

1 A question was asked whether it was the intention of the Government to take any 
step in consequence of a resolution of the House in favour of placing the whole administra- 
tion and control of the Army under the sole authority of a single Minister. Mr Disraeli 
replied that " considering the great importance of the subject, . . . the comparatively 
small number of Members in the House when the division took place, and the bare ma- 
jority by which the decision was arrived at, Her Majesty's Government do not feel that 
it is their duty to recommend any measure in consequence of that resolution." 

2 This was the third Bill of the Session, and was founded on the Resolutions, ante, p. 
279. The Government of India was transferred from the dual jurisdiction of the Company 
and the Board of Control, to the Secretary of State for India in Council, the members 
of the Council (after the provisions for representing vested interests should have lapsed) 
to be appointed by the Secretary of State. A certain term of residence in India was 
to be a necessary qualification, and the members were to be rendered incapable of sitting 
in Parliament, and with a tenure of office as assured as that of judges under the Act of 

3 The letter is ante-dated. The 24th of June was a Thursday. 


Monday. He proposes to proceed with no other business 
until it is concluded. 

When the Bill has passed, the temper of the House, and 
its sanitary state, 1 will assist him in passing the remaining 
estimates with rapidity ; and he contemplates an early 
conclusion of the Session. 

It will be a great thing to have carried the India Bill, which 
Mr Thomas Baring, to-night, spoke of in terms of eulogy, 
and as a great improvement on the project of the late Govern- 
ment. It is, the Chancellor of the Exchequer really thinks, 
a wise and well-digested measure, ripe with the experience 
of the last five months of discussion ; but it is only the ante- 
chamber of an imperial palace ; and your Majesty would do 
well to deign to consider the steps which are now necessary 
to influence the opinions and affect the imagination of the 
Indian populations. The name of your Majesty ought to be 
impressed upon their native life. Royal Proclamations, 
Courts of Appeal, in their own land, and other institutions, 
forms, and ceremonies, will tend to this great result. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Derby. 

OSBORNB, 8th July 1838. 

The Queen in reading in the papers yesterday, on her way 
here from the camp, the Debate in the House of Commons of the 
previous night, was shocked to find that in several important 
points her Government have surrendered the prerogatives 
of the Crown. She will only refer to the clauses concerning 
the Indian Civil Service and the right of peace and war. 

With respect to the first, the regulations under which 
servants of the Crown are to be admitted or examined have 
always been an undoubted right and duty of the Executive ; 
by the clause introduced by Lord Stanley the system of " Com- 
petitive Examination " has been confirmed by Act of Parlia- 
ment. That system may be right or wrong ; it has since its 
introduction been carried on under the Orders in Council ; 
now the Crown and Government are to be deprived of any 
authority in the matter, and the whole examinations, selection, 
and appointments, etc., etc., are to be vested in the Civil 
Commissioners under a Parliamentary title. 

As to the right of the Crown to declare war and make peace, 
it requires not a word of remark ; yet Lord Stanley agrees to 

l In consequence of the polluted condition of the Thames, the Government carried a 
measure enabling the Metropolitan Board of Works, at a cost of 3,000,000, to purify 
" that noble river, the present state of which is little creditable to a great country, and 
seriously prejudicial to the health and comfort of the inhabitants of the Metropolis." 
Extract from the Queen's Speech, at the close of the Session. 


Mr Gladstone's proposal to make over this prerogative with 
regard to Indian questions to Parliament under the auspices 
of the Queen's Government ; she is thus placed in a position 
of less authority than the President of the American Republic. 1 

When a Bill has been introduced into Parliament, after 
having received the Sovereign's approval, she has the right 
to expect that her Ministers will not subsequently introduce 
important alterations without previously obtaining her sanc- 
tion. In the first of the two instances referred to by the 
Queen, Lord Stanley introduced the alteration himself ; in 
the second he agreed to it even without asking for a moment's 
delay ; and the Opposition party, which attempted to guard 
the Queen's prerogative, was overborne by the Government 
Leader of the House. 

The Queen must remind Lord Derby that it is to him as the 
head of the Government that she looks for the protection of 
those prerogatives which form an integral part of the Con- 

The King of the Belgians to Queen Victoria. 

LAEKEN, iQth July 1858. 

MY TRULY BELOVED VICTORIA, Nothing can be kinder or 
more affectionate than your dear letter of the 13th, and it 
would have done your warm heart good to have seen how much 
I have been delighted and moved by it. I can only say that I 
love you both more tenderly than I could love my own chil- 
dren. When your plans will be nearer maturity, you will 
have the great kindness to let me know what will be your 
Royal pleasure, to enable me de m'y conformer bien exactement. 

The feeling which occasions some grumbling at the Cher- 
bourg visit 2 is in fact a good feeling, but it is not over-wise. 
Two things are to be done (1) To make every reasonable 
exertion to remain on personal good terms with the Emperor 
which can be done. One party in England says it is with 
the French nation that you are to be on loving terms ; this 
cannot be, as the French dislike the English as a nation, though 
they may be kind to you also personally. (2) The next is, 
instead of a good deal of unnecessary abuse, to have the 
Navy so organised that it can and must be superior to the 
French. All beyond these two points is sheer nonsense. 

1 An important amendment made at the instance of Mr Gladstone provided that, 
except for repelling actual invasion or upon urgent necessity, the Queen's Indian forces 
should not be employed in operations outside India, without Parliamentary sanction. 

2 On the 4th of August, the Queen and Prince, accompanied by the Prince of Wales, 
visited the Emperor and Empress at Cherbourg. 


After talking of Chambord, 1 to my utter horror he is here, 
and asked yesterday to see me to-day. It is not fair to do so, 
as the legitimists affect to this hour to consider [us] here as 
rebels. I could not refuse to see him, as, though distantly, 
still he is a relation ; but I mean to do as they did in Holland, 
to receive him, but to limit to his visit and my visit our whole 
intercourse. If he should speak to me of going to England, 
I certainly mean to tell him que je considerais une visite comme 
tout a fait intempestive. . . . Your devoted Uncle, 


Queen Victoria to Sir E. Bulwer Lytton. 

OSBORNE, 24th July 1858. 

The Queen has received Sir E. Bulwer Lytton's letter. 2 
If the name of New Caledonia is objected to as being already 
borne by another colony or island claimed by the French, it 
may be better to give the new colony west of the Rocky 
Mountains another name. New Hanover, New Cornwall, 
and New Georgia appear from the maps to be the names of 
sub-divisions of that country, but do not appear on all maps. 
The only name which is given to the whole territory in every 
map the Queen has consulted is " Columbia," but as there 
exists also a Columbia in South America, and the citizens of 
the United States call their country also Columbia, at least in 
poetry, " British Columbia " might be, in the Queen's opinion, 
the best name. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Derby. 

OSBORNE, 29th July 1858. 

The Queen has been placed in a most unpleasant dilemma 
by the last vote in the House of Commons ; 3 she feels all 
the force of Lord Derby's objections to risking another defeat 
on the same question and converting the struggle into one 
against the Royal Prerogative ; yet, on the other hand, she 
can hardly sit still, and from mere want of courage become 
a party to the most serious inroad which has yet been made 
upon it. It is the introduction of the principle into our legis- 
lation that the Sovereign is no longer the source of all ap- 
pointments under the Crown, but that these appointments 

1 See ante, p. 6. 

2 Stating that objections were being made in France to the name of New Caledonia 
being given to the proposed colony between the Pacific and the Rocky Mountains. 

3 The Lords Amendments on the subject of competitive examination were rejected 
by a majority of thirteen in the Commons, and, in the circumstances, Lord Derby had 
advised abiding by the decision and not risking another defeat. 


are the property of individuals under a Parliamentary title, 
which the Queen feels bound to resist. Lord John Russell's 
Motion and Sir James Graham's speech only went to the 
Civil appointments ; but after their Motion had been carried 
on a division, Lord Stanley gave way to Sir De Lacy Evans 
also with regard to a portion of the Army ! If this principle is 
recognised and sanctioned by the entire legislature, its future 
extension can no longer be resisted on constitutional grounds, 
and Lord John in fact reminded Lord Stanley that the latter 
had stated that he only refrained from making the applica- 
tion general from thinking it premature, himself being of 
opinion that it ought to be carried further, and yet its exten- 
sion to the Army reduces the Sovereign to a mere signing 
machine, as, to carry the case to its extreme consequence, 
Law would compel her to sign the Commission for the officers, 
and they might have the right to sue at law for the recovery 
of their property vested in them by Act of Parliament (viz., 
their Commissions) if the Crown doubted for any reason the 
fitness of an appointment ! ! Have these consequences been 
considered and brought distinctly before Parliament ? It 
strikes the Queen that all the Commons want is a Parliamentary 
security against the abolition of the Competitive System of 
Examinations by the Executive. Can this not be obtained 
by means less subversive of the whole character of our Con- 
stitution ? The Queen cannot believe that Lord Derby could 
not find means to come to some agreement with the Opposition, 
and she trusts he will leave nothing undone to effect this. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Derby. 

OSBORNE, 2nd August 1858. 

The Queen feels it her duty to address a few lines to Lord 
Derby on the subject of the reports made to Sir John Paking- 
ton on the subject of the French Naval preparations, to which 
she has already verbally adverted when she saw Lord Derby 
last. These reports reveal a state of things of the greatest 
moment to this country. It will be the first time in her history 
that she will find herself in an absolute minority of ships on 
the sea ! and this inferiority will be much greater in reality 
than even apparent, as our fleet will have to defend possessions 
and commerce all over the world, and has even in Europe a 
strategical line to hold extending from Malta to Heligoland, 
whilst France keeps her fleet together and occupies the centre 
of that line in Europe. 

The Queen thinks it irreconcilable with the duty which the 
VOL. m 10* 


Government owes to the country to be aware of this state of 
things without straining every nerve to remedy it. With 
regard to men in whom we are also totally deficient in case 
of an emergency, a Commission of Enquiry is sitting to devise 
a remedy ; but with regard to our ships and dockyards we 
require action, and immediate action. The plan proposed by 
the Surveyor of the Navy appears to the Queen excessively 
moderate and judicious, and she trusts that the Cabinet will 
not hesitate to empower its execution, bearing in mind that 
200,000 spent now will probably do more work during the 
six or nine months for working before us, than 2,000,000 
would if voted in next year's estimate, letting our arrears in 
the dockyards, already admitted to be very great, accumulate 
in the interval. Time is most precious under these circum- 
stances ! 

It is true that this sum of money would be in excess of the 
estimates of last Session, but the Queen feels sure that on the 
faith of the reports made by the Admiralty, the Government 
would find no difficulty in convincing Parliament that they 
have been good stewards of the public money, in taking 
courageously the responsibility upon themselves to spend 
judiciously what is necessary, and that the country will be 
deeply grateful for the honesty with which they will have 
served her. 

The Queen wishes Lord Derby to communicate this letter 
to the Cabinet. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Derby. 

BABELSBERG, 15th August 1858. 

The Queen has asked Lord Malmesbury to explain in detail 
to Lord Derby her objections to the draft of Proclamation 
for India. The Queen would be glad if Lord Derby would 
write it himself in his excellent language, bearing in mind 
that it is a female Sovereign who speaks to more than 
100,000,000 of Eastern people on assuming the direct Govern- 
ment over them after a bloody civil war, giving them pledges 
which her future reign is to redeem, and explaining the prin- 
ciples of her Government. Such a document should breathe 
feelings of generosity, benevolence, and religious feeling, point- 
ing out the privileges which the Indians will receive in being 
placed on an equality with the subjects of the British Crown, 
and the prosperity following in the train of civilisation. 1 

l The draft Proclamation was accordingly altered so as to be in strict harmony with 
the Queen s wishes. See post, p. 304. 


Queen Victoria to Lord Stanley. 

OSBORNE, 4tf September 1858. 

The Queen sends to Lord Stanley a Memorandum embodying 
her wishes with respect to the transaction of business between 
herself and the new Secretary of State. He will find that 
she has omitted any reference to Military appointments, as 
Lord Stanley seemed anxious to defer a settlement on this 
point ; she expects, however, that in all cases in which her 
pleasure was taken by the Commander-in-Chief, even during 
the administration of the East India Company and Board of 
Control, the same practice will be continued unaltered. 

The Queen has received Lord Stanley's letter of yesterday. 
He has given her no answer with respect to Sir James Melvill. 1 

Whenever the Proclamation is finally printed, the Queen 
would wish to have a copy sent her. A letter she has re- 
ceived from Lady Canning speaks of Lord Canning's supposed 
Amnesty in Oudh as a fabrication ; she has sent Jie letter 
to Lord Derby. 

Memorandum by Queen Victoria. 

OSBORNE, 4<A September 1858. 

The Queen wishes the practice of the Office 2 with reference 
to submissions to her to be as nearly as possible assimilated 
to that of the Foreign Office. 

All despatches, when received and perused by the Secretary 
of State, to be sent to the Queen. They may be merely for- 
warded in boxes from the Office without being accompanied 
by any letter from the Secretary of State, unless he should 
think an explanation necessary. No draft of instructions 
or orders to be sent out without having been previously sub- 
mitted to the Queen. The label on the boxes of the Office 
containing such drafts to be markad " For Approval." 

In cases of Civil appointments the Secretary of State will 
himself take the Queen's pleasure before communicating with 
the gentlemen to be appointed. 

Copies or a precis of the Minutes of the Council to be regu- 
larly transmitted to the Queen. 

The Secretary of State to obtain the Queen's sanction to 
important measures previously to his bringing them before 
the Council for discussion. 

1 The Queen had asked how it was that Sir J. Melvill's name was not included among 
those submitted to her for appointments in connection with the new military organisa- 
tion in India. Sir James had been Financial Secretary, and afterwards Chief Secretary, 
for the East India Company. He now became the Government Director of Indian ( 
railways, and a Member of the Council of India. 

2 The India Office. 


Memorandum by the Prince Albert. 

OSBORNB, 4th September 1858. 

The most remarkable feature of the last Session of Parlia- 
ment has been the extraordinary unpopularity of Lord 
Palmerston, for which nothing can account ; the only direct 
reproach which is made to him, is to have appointed Lord 
Clanricarde Privy Seal, and to have been overbearing in his 
manner. Yet a House of Commons, having been elected 
solely for the object, and on the ground of supporting Lord 
Palmerston personally (an instance in our Parliamentary 
history without parallel), holds him suddenly in such abhor- 
rence, that not satisfied with having upset his Government, 
which had been successful in all its policy, and thrown him 
out, it will hardly listen to him when he speaks. He is fre- 
quently received with hooting, and throughout the last Session 
it sufficed that [he] took up any cause for the whole House 
voting against it, even if contrary to the principles which 
they had themselves advocated, merely to have the satis- 
faction of putting him into a minority. How can this be 
accounted for ? The man who was without rhyme or reason 
stamped the only English statesman, the champion of liberty, 
the man of the people, etc., etc., now, without his having 
changed in any one respect, having still the same virtues 
and the same faults that he always had, young and vigorous 
in his seventy-fifth year, and having succeeded in his policy, 
is now considered the head of a clique, the man of intrigue, 
past his work, etc., etc. in fact hated ! and this throughout 
the country. I cannot explain the enigma except by sup- 
posing that people had before joined in a cry which they 
thought was popular without themselves believing what they 
said and wrote, and that they now do the same ; that the 
Radicals used his name to destroy other statesmen and poli- 
ticians, and are destroying him now in his turn ; that they 
hoped to govern through him, and that they see a better 
chance now of doing it through a weak and incapable Tory 
Government which has entered into a secret bargain for their 
support. Still the phenomenon remains most curious. 1 

Lord Palmerston himself remains, outwardly at least, quite 
cheerful, and seems to care very little about his reverses ; 
he speaks on all subjects, bids for the Liberal support as 
before, even at the expense of his better conviction (as he 
used to do), and keeps as much as possible before the public ; 
he made an official tour in Ireland, and is gone to visit the 

1 Charles Greville, in his Journal (16th June 1858), noted the same circumstance, 
and drew the inference that Palmerston's public career was drawing to a close. 


JEmperor Napoleon at Paris ; his Chinese policy upon which 
the general Dissolution had taken place in 1857 has just been 
crowned by the most complete success by the advantageous 
treaty signed at Pekin by Lord Elgin ; and yet even for this 
the public will not allow him any credit. Lady Palmerston, 
on the contrary, is said to be very unhappy and very much 
hurt. ALBEBT. 

Sir E. Bidwer Lytton to Queen Victoria. 

COLONIAL OFFICE, 1st November 1858. 

Sir E. B. Lytton, with his humble duty to the Queen, sub- 
mits to your Majesty's pleasure the appointment of the Right 
Honourable W. E. Gladstone, as special High Commissioner 
to the Ionian Islands. 

Differences of long standing between the Executive and 
Legislative branches of the Ionian Constitution, aggravated 
by recent dissensions between the Senate and Municipal 
Magistrature, render it very expedient to obtain the opinion 
of a statesman of eminence, formed upon the spot, as to any 
improvements in the workings and results of the Constitution 
which it might be in the power of the protecting Sovereign to 
effect. And Sir Edward thinks it fortunate for the public 
service that a person so distinguished and able as Mr Glad- 
stone should be induced to undertake this mission. 

Sir Edward ventures to add that, should Her Majesty be 
graciously pleased to approve this appointment, it is extremely 
desirable that Mr Gladstone should depart at the earliest 
possible day, and that Sir Edward may be enabled to make 
the requisite announcement to the Lord High Commissioner 
by the first mail. 

Mr Disraeli to the Prince Albert. 

GROSVENOR GATE, 18th November 1858. 
(Wednesday night.) 

SIB, After the Committee of the Cabinet on the Reform 
Bill, which sat this morning for five hours, Lord Stanley 
expressed a wish to have some private conversation with me. 

Although I would willingly have deferred the interview till 
a moment when I was less exhausted, I did not think it wise, 
with a person of his temperament, to baulk an occasion, and 
therefore assented at once. 

I give your Royal Highness faithfully, but feebly, and not 
completely, the results of our conversation. 

1. With respect to the relations between his office and Her 


Majesty, he said he was conscious that they had been con- 
ducted with great deficiency of form, and, in many respects, 
in an unsatisfactory manner ; but he attributed all this to 
the inexperience and " sheer ignorance " of a Department 
which had not been accustomed to direct communication 
with the Crown. Some portion of this, he said, he had already 
remedied, and he wished to remedy all, though he experienced 
difficulties, on some of which he consulted me. 

He accepted, without reserve, and cordially, my position, 
that he must act always as the Minister of the Queen, and not 
of the Council, but he said I took an exaggerated view of his 
relations with that body ; that he thoroughly knew their 
respective places, and should be vigilant that they did [? not] 
overstep their limits ; that he had never been, of which he 
reminded me, an admirer of the East India Company, and 
had no intention of reviving their system ; that the incident 
of submitting the legal case to the Council, etc., had originated 
in a demand on the part of the Commander-in-Chief, which 
involved, if complied with, a grant of money, and that, under 
these circumstances, an appeal to the Council was inevitable. 

2. He agreed with me, that, on all military matters, he 
would habitually communicate with the Commander-in-Chief, 
and take His Royal Highness's advice on all such points ; 
and that copies of all military papers, as I understood Lord 
Stanley, should be furnished to His Royal Highness. 

3. Having arrived at this point, I laid before him the views 
respecting military unity, which formed the subject matter 
of recent conversations. Lord Stanley assented to the prin- 
ciples which I attempted to enforce ; and in reply to my 
reminding him that the old military system of India had 
entirely broken down, he said he contemplated terminating 
the independent authority of the Commander-in-Chief at the 
inferior Presidencies, and of establishing the absolute and 
complete authority of Her Majesty's Commander-in-Chief in 
India. He did not seem to see his way to any further step at 
present, and I did not think it judicious on this occasion to 
press the subject further. 

Throughout this interview, Lord Stanley's manner was 
candid, very conciliatory, and, for him, even soft. He was 
pleased to say that it was a source of great satisfaction to 
him that your Royal Highness had deigned to confer con- 
fidentially with me on the subject, and make me, as it were, 
a " Mediator " on matters which, he assured me with great 
emphasis, had occasioned him an amount of anxiety almost 

He had recurred, in the course of this interview, to a sug- 


gestion which he had thrown out on Tuesday, viz. that the 
difficulties of the position might be removed, or greatly 
mitigated, by his retirement from the office, and accepting, 
if his continuance in the Government was desirable, another 
post. I therefore thought it best at once to point out to him 
that such a course of proceeding would only aggravate all the 
inconveniences and annoyances at present existing ; that his 
retirement would be the signal for exaggerated rumours and 
factious machinations, and would have the most baneful effect 
on the discussion in Parliament generally of all those military 
topics with which we were threatened ; that, far from being 
satisfactory to Her Majesty and your Royal Highness, I was 
convinced that the Queen and yourself would hear of such an 
intention with regret. 

Lord Stanley ultimately adopted entirely this view of his 
position, and he parted from me with an earnest expression 
of his hope that the painful misconceptions which had pre- 
vailed might at once, or at least in due course, entirely dis- 

This, Sir, is a very imperfect report of an important inter- 
view, but, as I collected from Lord Stanley, that nothing was 
really settled in his conference on Tuesday with Lord Derby 
and the Lord Chancellor, I have thought it my duty, without 
loss of time, to forward it to your Royal Highness, and have 
the honour to remain, ever, Sir, your most obedient and 
sincerely obliged Servant, B. DISRAELI. 

The Prince Albert to Mr Disraeli. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, ISth November 1858. 

MY DEAR MR DISRAELI, I am very much obliged to you 
for your long letter after a Cabinet meeting of five hours, and 
subsequent interview with Lord Stanley, whom I am much 
pleased to hear you found so anxious to remedy the present 
state of things. I am glad that you made it clear to him that 
the Queen had never connected in her mind the objections 
which she felt bound to take with anything personal, which 
could be removed by Lord Stanley's relinquishing the Indian 
Secretaryship. The difficulty would still remain to be solved, 
only under additional complication and disadvantage. Lord 
Derby told me to-day that he was drawing up a Memorandum 
which, when seen by the Chancellor and Lord Stanley, was 
to be submitted to the Queen. Ever yours truly, 


i On the saire day Lord Stanley wrote a lengthy letter to the Queen justifying the 
course he had taken. 


Queen Victoria to Lord Stanley. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 20th November 1858. 

The Queen has received Lord Stanley's letter entering into 
the subject of the difficulties which have arisen in the conduct 
of the new Indian Department. She had from the first fore- 
seen that it would not be an easy matter to bring the estab- 
lishments of the old Company's Government to fall into the 
practice and usages of the Constitutional Monarchy, and was 
therefore most anxious that distinct rules should be laid down 
before the installation of the new Government, which un- 
fortunately was not done, but she trusts will now be devised 
and adopted. 

The Queen most readily gives Lord Stanley credit for 
every intention to remove the obstacles in the way of the 
solution of these difficulties as far as he was able, but she 
cannot but fear that the particular form in which the opinion 
of the Law Officers has been asked, and the fact [that] the 
eighteen members of the Council (all naturally wedded to a 
system under which they were trained) were made parties to 
the discussion between herself and her Secretary of State on 
these difficulties must increase instead of diminishing them. 

The account given by Mr Temple, together with the last 
printed letters and Memoranda from the Punjab, give us 
serious cause of apprehension for the future, and show that 
the British Army is the only safeguard at present. 

Queen Victoria to Viscount Canning. 1 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 2nd December 1858. 

The Queen acknowledges the receipt of Lord Canning's 
letter of the 19th October, which she received on the 29th 
November, which has given her great pleasure. 

It is a source of great satisfaction and pride to her to feel 
herself in direct communication with that enormous Empire 
which is so bright a jewel of her Crown, and which she would 
wish to see happy, contented, and peaceful. May the publi- 
cation of her Proclamation be the beginning of a new era, and 
may it draw a veil over the sad and bloody past ! 

The Queen rejoices to hear that her Viceroy approves this 
passage about Religion. 2 She strongly insisted on it. She 

1 The Queen's Proclamation to her Indian subjects had been received by Lord Canning 
on the 17th of October, when he also learned that the title of Viceroy was in future to 
dignify the Governor-General's office. 

2 " Firmly relying ourselves on the truth of Christianity, and acknowledging with 
gratitude the solace of religion, we disclaim alike the right and desire to impose our 
convictions on any of our subjects." The Proclamation proceeded to state that all the 
Queen's Indian subjects should be impartially protected by the law, and live unmolested 
in the observance of their several religions. 


trusts also that the certainty of the Amnesty remaining open 
till the 1st January may not be productive of serious evil. 

The Queen must express our admiration of Lord Canning's 
own Proclamation, the wording of which is beautiful. The 
telegram received to-day brings continued good news, and 
announces her proclamation having been read, and having 
produced a good effect. 

The Queen hopes to hear from Lord Canning, whenever 
he can spare time to write. She misses hearing from Lady 
Canning, not having heard from her since the 30th August ; 
but the Queen fears that she is herself to blame, as she has 
not written to Lady Canning for a long time ; she intends 
doing so by the next mail. . . . 

Both the Prince and herself hope that Lord Canning's 
health is now perfectly good, as well as dear Lady Canning's. 
We ask him to remember us to her, and also to Lord Clyde. 

The Queen concludes with every wish for Lord Canning's 
success and prosperity, and with the assurance of her un- 
diminished and entire confidence. 

The Earl of Malmesbury to Queen Victoria. 

LONDON, IQth December 1858. 

The Earl of Malmesbury presents his humble duty to the 
Queen, and has already anticipated your Majesty's wishes 
respecting the Emperor Napoleon. 1 Lord Malmesbury has 
written to Lord Cowley a private letter, desiring him to show 
it to His Majesty. It is in the same sense as your Majesty's, 
and states that if he is anxious to improve the lot of the worst 
governed country, namely the Papal States, he should, instead 
of sulking with Austria, make an attempt with his Catholic 
brother to ameliorate the Papal Government. It is not for 
Protestant England to take the initiative, as her object would 
be misunderstood and attributed to sectarian motives ; but 
England could give her moral support, and even her material 
aid eventually, if it were required to establish an improved 
Administration of the Roman States. Austria would gain by 
having a quiet frontier. The correspondence which took place 
in 1856 and 1857 between Lord Clarendon and Mr Lyons 
shows that this is the only effective way of ameliorating the 
condition of Italy without a war. 

1 Viz. that the Emperor's mind should be diverted from his project of originating a 
war in Italy. On the previous day Lord Malmesbury had written to the Queen : " Lord 
Clarendon may have told your Majesty that the Emperor Napoleon wag so ignorant of 
the locality of Viliafranca that he looked for it on the map in the Adriatic, and was 
confounded when Lord Clarendon showed His Majesty that it was the Port of Nice and 
ten miles from his frontier I " 


Lord Malmesbury thinks he can assure your Majesty that 
none is at present contemplated by the Emperor Napoleon 
(who has just contradicted the report officially), and Count 
Buol is of the same opinion. The latter is constantly hurting 
the vanity of the French Government by his irritable des- 
patches, and neither party makes the slightest effort to com- 
mand their temper ; but it appears impossible that Napoleon 
can make a casus belli against Austria. Besides this, your 
Majesty may be assured that no warlike preparations are 
making in France, such as must precede such a plan as an 
Italian war. 

Lord Malmesbury entirely agrees with your Majesty that 
it is desirable that His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales 
should visit and remain at Rome incognito. It is also indis- 
pensable that when there His Royal Highness should receive 
no foreigner or stranger alone, so that no reports of pretended 
conversations with such persons could be circulated without 
immediate refutation by Colonel Bruce. Lord Malmesbury 
will instruct Mr Odo Russell to inform His Holiness of your 
Majesty's intentions in respect of the Prince. 

Queen Victoria to the King of. the Belgians. 

OSBORNE, nth December 1858. 

MY DEAREST UNCLE, I wrote in such a hurry on Wednes- 
day that I wish to make amends by writing again to-day, 
and entering more properly into what you wrote about in 
your kind letter. . . . 

I really hope that there is no real desire for war in the 
Emperor's mind ; we have also explained to him strongly 
how entirely he would alienate us from him if there was any 
attempt to disturb standing and binding treaties. The Empress- 
Dowager of Russia 1 is very ill, they say, with bronchitis and 

I did not tell you, that when we went on the 2nd to Clare- 
mont I was not pleased with the Queen's appearance. She 
had had a slight cold, and I thought her very feeble. They 
keep her rooms so fearfully [hot] that it must really be very 
weakening for her and predispose her to cold. I am ever, 
your devoted Niece, VICTORIA R. 

l The Empress Alexandra Feodorovna (formerly the Princess Louise Charlotte of 
Prussia, sister to King Frederick William IV.), widow of the Emperor Nicholas. 


PARLIAMENTARY REFORM was the question of the hour at the 
outset of the year 1859, and the Derby Government, though with 
difficulty able to maintain itself in power, took the courageous step 
of introducing a Reform Bill, the chief feature of which was the intro- 
duction of a franchise based on personal property. Mr Walpole and 
Mr Henley thereupon withdrew from the Ministry, and Lord John 
Russell, from below the gangway, proposed an Amendment, protest- 
ing against interference with the established freehold franchise, and 
calling for a larger extension of the suffrage in towns. Lord Palmer- 
ston and the Liberal Opposition supported the Amendment, while 
Mr Gladstone, who was opposed to most of the provisions of the Bill, 
supported it in preference to the Amendment, pleading, at the same 
time, for the retention of the small boroughs. The Ministry were 
defeated, and Parliament thereupon dissolved, but not until the civil 
functionaries and all ranks of the native and European army had 
received its thanks for the final suppression of the Indian Mutiny. 
The Ministry gained twenty-five seats at the polls, but were still in 
a minority, and as soon as it was known that Lord John Russell and 
Lord Palmerston were reconciled, the end was in sight. A hostile 
Amendment to the Address was carried by a majority of thirteen, 
but on Lord Derby's resignation, the Queen was placed in a dilemma 
by the competing claims of Lord Palmerston and Lord John Russell, 
who had each been Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Party. 
Unwilling to be compelled to decide between them, she called upon 
Lord Granville to form a Ministry representative of all sections of 
the Liberal Party ; but the difficulties proved insuperable, and Lord 
Palmerston eventually formed a Ministry in which the Whigs, the 
Peelites, and the Manchester School were all represented, though 
Mr Cobden declined to join the Government. Mr Gladstone, who 
had returned from the mission he had undertaken for the Derby 
Cabinet, and voted with them in the critical division, became Chan- 
cellor of the Exchequer, and kept his seat for Oxford University by 
a majority of nearly two hundred. 

The continent of Europe was the scene of a contest between Austria 
on the one hand, who was struggling to maintain her position in Italy, 
and France with Sardinia on the other. Sardinia, under the guidance 
of Cavour, had joined the alliance of England and France against 
Russia ; and in July 1858 an interview at Plombieres, under rather 



mysterious circumstances, between Cavour and Louis Napoleon, led 
to effective confederacy ; a marriage, arranged or suggested at the 
same time, between Princess Clothilde of Sardinia and a cousin of 
the Emperor, brought the two illustrious houses still closer together. 
In the spring of 1859, Sardinia prepared to take up arms to resist 
Austrian predominance, and the assistance of the guerilla leader, 
Garibaldi, was obtained. Count Cavour, in reply to interrogatories 
from the British Government, stated officially his grievances against 
Austria, while Lord Malmesbury despatched Lord Cowley on a 
special mission to Vienna to mediate between Austria and France. 
In April, however, after a curt summons to the Sardinians to disarm 
had been disregarded, Austria invaded Piedmont, and Victor Em- 
manuel placed himself at the head of his army. The first engagement 
took place, with unfavourable results to the Austrians, at Montebello, 
followed by French victories at Palestro and Magenta. A revolution 
had meanwhile taken place in Florence. The Grand Duke had fled, 
and a Commissioner to administer the affairs of the Grand Duchy had 
been appointed by the King of Sardinia with the assent of the Tuscans, 
who now joined the Franco- Sardinian alliance, while risings also took 
place in Parma and Modena. The Austrians were again defeated 
at Malegnano, and, on the 8th of June, the French Emperor and 
King Victor Emmanuel entered Milan amid great enthusiasm. The 
bloody action of Solferino was fought on the 24th of June, but on the 
llth of July a treaty of peace was, somewhat unexpectedly, con- 
cluded between the French and Austrian Emperors at Villafranca, 
under which an Italian Confederation was to be erected, Lombardy 
substantially ceded to Sardinia, the Grand Duke of Tuscany and the 
Duke of Modena reinstated, and Venetia, though included in the 
Confederation, to remain subject to the Imperial Crown of Austria ; 
these preliminaries were subsequently converted into a definite treaty 
at Zurich. Meanwhile, the newly constituted representative Assem- 
blies in Tuscany, Romagna, and the Duchies, unanimously pro- 
nounced for incorporation in the kingdom of Victor Emmanuel. 

At home, on the 14th of October, the Queen opened the Glasgow 
waterworks at the outflow of Loch Katrine, the construction of which 
had necessitated engineering operations at that time considered 
stupendous ; a few days later an appalling shipping calamity 
occurred, in the wreck of the Royal Charter near Anglesey, and the 
loss of 459 lives. 


Queen Victoria to Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 7th January 1859. 

THE Queen returns Mr Gladstone's letters, and gladly 
accepts his patriotic offer. 1 He will have difficulty in solving 
a delicate question, affecting national feeling, against time, 
but his offer conies most opportunely. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Derby. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, \Zth January 1859. 

As the Cabinet are now meeting, and will probably come 
to a decision about the estimates for the year, the Queen 
thinks it her duty to urge upon them in the strongest manner 
her conviction that, under the present aspect of political 
affairs in Europe, there will be no safety to the honour, power, 
and peace of this country except in Naval and Military 
strength. The extraordinary exertions which France is mak- 
ing in her Naval Department oblige us to exercise the utmost 
vigour to keep up a superiority at sea, upon which our very 
existence may be said to depend, and which would be already 
lost at any moment that France were to be joined by any 
other country possessing a Navy. 2 The war in India has 
drained us of every available Battalion. We possess at this 
moment only fourteen old Battalions of the Line within the 
three kingdoms, and twelve Second Battalions newly raised, 
whilst our Mediterranean possessions are under -garrisoned, 

1 See ante, p. 301. Mr Gladstone had been sent to enquire into the causes of the dis- 
satisfaction of the inhabitants of the Ionian Islands with their High Commissioner. Sir 
John Young. He now offered to act himself for a limited time as High Commissioner, 
should it be decided to recall Sir John. He was succeeded in February by Sir Henry 

2 The French Emperor had signalised the opening of a new year by an ominous speech. 
To M.Hubner,the Austrian Ambassador at Paris, who had attended, with the other foreign 
representatives, to offer the usual congratulations on the 1st of January, he observed : 
" I regret that the relations between our two Governments are not more satisfactory ; 
but I beg you to assure the Emperor that they in no respect alter my feelings of friend- 
ship to himself." 



and Alderney has not as yet any garrison at all. Under these 
circumstances the Queen has heard it rumoured that the 
Government intend to propose a reduction on the estimates 
of 9,000 men for this year. She trusts that such an idea, if 
ever entertained, will upon reflection be given up as incon- 
sistent with the duty which the Government owe to the 
country. Even if it were said that these 9,000 men have only 
existed on paper, and have not yet been raised, such an act 
at this moment would be indefensible ; for it would require a 
proof that circumstances have arisen which make it desirable 
to ask for fewer troops than were considered requisite when 
the last estimates were passed, which really cannot be said 
to be the case ! To be able to raise at any time an additional 
9,000 men (in political danger) without having to go to Parlia- 
ment for a supplementary vote and spreading alarm thereby, 
must be of the utmost value to the Government, and if not 
wanted, the vote will entail no additional expense. 

England will not be listened to in Europe, and be powerless 
for the preservation of the general peace, which must be her 
first object under the present circumstances, if she is known 
to be despicably weak in her military resources, and no states- 
man will, the Queen apprehends, maintain that if a European 
war were to break out she could hope to remain long out of 
it. For peace and for war, therefore, an available Army is 
a necessity to her. 

The Queen wishes Lord Derby to communicate this letter 
to the Cabinet. 

Mr Odo Russell * to Mr Corbett. 2 
(Submitted to Queen Victoria.) 

BOMB, 14<A January 1859. 

SIR, I had the honour of being received by the Pope at a 
private audience this morning at the Vatican. No one else 
was present. 

His Holiness, whose manner towards me was most kind and 
benevolent, said : " You are appointed to succeed a very good 
man, 3 for whom I felt great affection, and I regret that he has 
left Rome. You may be as good as he was, and we shall 
become friends, but I do not know you yet, and Mr Lyons I 
had known for many years ; he is going to America, I hear, 

1 Secretary of Legation at Florence, resident in Rome, afterwards Lord Ampthill. 

2 Secretary of Legation at Florence, afterwards successively Minister at Eio Janeiro 
and Stockholm. 

3 Richard Bickerton Pemell Lyons, who had just been transferred from Rome to 
Washington. He had recently succeeded his father, the Admiral, in the Barony of 
Lyons, and was himself subsequently promoted to an Earldom. 

1859] THE POPE 311 

and he will find the Americans far more difficult to deal with 
than with us. 

" I am much gratified to hear that the Prince of Wales is 
likely to visit Rome, and Her Majesty, I feel sure, has done 
well to allow him to prosecute his studies here. It will be an 
honour to me to receive him at the Vatican, and I beg that 
you will confer with Cardinal Antonelli * as to the best means 
of making the Prince's visit here useful and pleasant. We 
are anxious that all his wishes should be attended to, that he 
may preserve a pleasant recollection of Rome in the future. 
Alas ! so many erroneous impressions exist about this country 
that I hope you will not judge of us too rashly. We are 
advised to make reforms, and it is not understood that those 
very reforms, which would consist in giving this country a 
Government of laymen, would make it cease to exist. It is 
called ' States of the Church ' (Etats de rEglise), and that is 
what it must remain. It is true I have lately appointed a 
layman to a post formerly held by an ecclesiastic, and I may 
do so again occasionally ; but, however small we may be, we 
cannot yield to outer pressure, and this country must be 
administered by men of the Church. For my part, I shall 
fulfil my duties according to my conscience, and should 
Governments and events turn against me they cannot make 
me yield. I shall go with the faithful to the Catacombs, as 
did the Christians of the early centuries, and there await the 
will of the Supreme Being, for I dread no human Power upon 
earth and fear nothing but God." 

" But, Holy Father," I said, " you speak as if some great 
danger threatened Rome is there any [real ?] cause for 
apprehension ? " 

" Have you not heard," His Holiness answered, " that 
great excitement prevails throughout Italy ? the state of 
Lombardy is deplorable ; evil spirits are at work even in my 
dominions, and the late speech of the King of Sardinia is 
calculated to inflame the minds of all the revolutionary men 
of Italy. It is true he says he will observe existing Treaties, 
but that will scarcely counter-balance the effect produced by 
other portions of his speech. News has also reached me of 
an extensive amnesty granted by the King of Naples he 
did not yield to outer pressure, and he was right but now, 
on the occasion of the marriage of his son, an act of clemency 
on his part is well advised." 

" Is it true," I said, " that political prisoners are included 
in Amnesty ? " 

" Yss," His Holiness answered ; " I saw the name of 

1 Secretary of Foreign Affairs for the Papal States. 


Settembrini, and I think also of that other man in whom your 
Government took so much interest his name begins with a 
' P ' if I remember rightly " 

" Poerio," I suggested. 

" That is the name," the Pope continued ; " and I fancy 
that all the other political prisoners will be released ; they are 
to be sent to Cadiz at the expense of the King, they are to be 
clothed and receive some money, I believe, and after that 
arrangements have been made with the Minister of the United 
States to have them conveyed to that country ; they are to be 
exiled for life. I hope this event may have the effect of making 
your Government and that of France renew diplomatic re- 
lations with Naples ; I always regretted that rupture, but the 
King was right not to yield to outer pressure. 

"It is lucky," the Pope ended with a smile, " that Lord 
Palmerston is not in office ; he was too fond of interfering in 
the concerns of foreign countries, and the present crisis would 
just have suited him. Addio, caro" the Pope then said, and 
dismissed me with his blessing. 

I then, according to usage, called on Cardinal Antonelli, 
and recounted to him what had passed. He confirmed all 
the Pope had said, but denied that there was any very serious 
cause for immediate apprehension of any general disturbance 
of the peace of Italy. I have, etc., ODO RUSSELL. 

The Earl of Malmesbury to Queen Victoria. 

LONDON, 18th January 1859. 

The Earl of Malmesbury presents his humble duty to the 
Queen, and has the honour to inform your Majesty that he has 
seen the French Ambassador to-day, who came of his own 
accord to say that we need be in no apprehension of a war at 
present, as the public opinion in France, especially in the large 
towns, had been so strongly pronounced against a war that 
it was impossible. Lord Malmesbury is also glad to inform 
your Majesty that the Cabinet has agreed to-day to make 
a great addition to the effective force of your Majesty's Navy. 

Your Majesty's commands are obeyed respecting the 
telegram to Berlin. 

The Earl of Malmesbury to Queen Victoria. 

LONDON, 25th January 1859. 

The Earl of Malmesbury presents his humble duty to the 
Queen, and regrets to say that he shares your Majesty's 
apprehensions. The Emperor is extremely irritated at our 

1859] LORD CANNING 313 

not concurring in his views on Italy, and Lord Malmesbury 
believes that nothing will restrain him. but the public opinion 
expressed against them, in France. 1 Austria has, against all 
our advice and common prudence, made a false move by 
sending troops into the Papal States against the wish of the 
Pope, and is now obliged to recall them. The speech of your 
Majesty is to be discussed in Cabinet to-day. Lord Derby 
intended to introduce a paragraph stating that your Majesty's 
Alliance with France remained " unimpaired," but it now 
appears to us that such a statement might provoke a question 
" why " it should be made a special one. Lord Malmesbury 
entirely agrees with your Majesty as to an allusion to Treaties. 

Queen Victoria to Lord Stanley. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 25th January 1859. 

The Queen thinks that the time is come when the bestowal 
of some honour or reward on Lord Canning ought no longer 
to be delayed. He has now nearly arrived at the end of his 
tremendous task of quelling the Rebellion, and has triumphed 
over all his many difficulties. If any man deserves an ac- 
knowledgment of his services at the hands of the Crown, it is 
surely he, and the Queen would be sorry that the grace of it 
should be taken away from her by questions being asked in 
Parliament when it is assembled again, which will now be the 
case very soon. 

A step in the Peerage and the G.C.B. appear to the Queen 
an appropriate reward. Perhaps a pension should be awarded 
to him ? Lord Elphinstone also ought not to be left unre- 
warded, and a step in the Peerage with the G.C.B. does not 
appear too high an honour for him, for he also has greatly con- 
tributed to the saving to the Indian Empire. 2 

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 2nd February 1859. 

MY DEAREST, KINDEST UNCLE, Accept my warmest thanks 
for your most kind letter of the 28th. I know how pleased you 
would be at the safety of our dear Vicky, and at the birth of our 

1 Yet the Emperor had just written to Queen Victoria on 20th January : " Le corps 
legislatif va bientot s'ouvrir, presque ep meme temps que le parlement ; je tacherai 
d'exprimer dans mon discours tout le desir que j'ai de vivre tou jours en bonne et sincere 
intelligence avec votre Majeste et son goavernement." Early in February the pamphlet 
Napoleon et I'ltalie, nominally written by M. de la Gueronniere, but inspired by the 
Emperor, foreshadowed the war in Italy, and attempted to justify it. 

2 Lord Canning was made an Earl and Lord Elphinstone (who bad been Governor of 
Bombay during the Mutiny) a Peer of the United Kingdom, and both received the G.C.B. 


first grandson ! 1 Everything goes on so beautifully, Vicky 
recovering as fast and well as I did, and the dear little boy 
improving so much and thriving in every way. . . . The joy 
and interest taken here is as great almost as in Prussia, which 
is very gratifying. 

I think that the Speech will do good, but it has not been 
easy to frame it, as the feeling against the Emperor here is very 
strong. I think yet that if Austria is strong and well prepared, 
and Germany strong and well inclined towards us (as Prussia 
certainly is), France will not be so eager to attempt what I 
firmly believe would end in the Emperor's downfall ! Old 
Malakhoff himself said to the Duchess of Wellington that if 
the French had the slightest defeat ce serait fini avec la Dynastie ! 
A pretty speech for an Ambassador, but a very true one ! 

Pray say everything most kind to your dear children and 
believe me ever, your devoted Niece, VICTORIA R. 

We are just arrived here, and go back to Windsor to-morrow 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Malmesbury. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 3rd February 1859. 

The Queen has this moment received Lord Malmesbury's 
letter. As she has not yet written (only telegraphed) to 
announce to the Emperor the birth of our grandson (we being 
in the habit since we know the Emperor and Empress person- 
ally to communicate to one another reciprocally family events], 
the Queen has an opportunity or a pretext for writing to the 
Emperor, and is therefore prepared to do so to-morrow. But 
as the terms to be used are of the most vital importance, she 
would wish Lord Malmesbury to consult forthwith with Lord 
Derby, and to let her have " the matter " to be put into the 
letter before the Queen leaves town, which we do at half-past 
four this afternoon. 

The Earl of Derby to Queen Victoria. 

ST JAMES'S SQUARE, 3rd February 1859. 
(Thursday, 1 P.M.) 

Lord Derby, with his humble duty, and in obedience to your 
Majesty's commands, received within this half hour through 
Lord Malmesbury, submits the accompanying very hastily 
drawn sketch of the language which, in his humble opinion, 
your Majesty might hold in a private and confidential letter 

1 Frederick William Victor Albert, now German Emperor, born on the 27th of January. 


to the Emperor of the French. Lord Derby is not sure that 
it is what your Majesty desired that he should submit ; but 
he trusts that your Majesty will be pleased to receive it as an 
attempt to obey your Majesty's commands, and will excuse 
its many imperfections on account of the extreme haste in 
which it has unavoidably been written. 

" I cannot refrain from taking this opportunity of expressing 
confidentially to your Imperial Majesty my deep anxiety for 
the preservation of the peace of Europe, nor can I conceal from 
myself how essentially that great object must depend upon 
the course which your Imperial Majesty may be advised to 
take. Your Majesty has now the opportunity, either by 
listening to the dictates of humanity and justice, and by 
demonstrating unmistakably your intention to adhere strictly 
to the faithful observance of Treaties, of calming the appre- 
hensions of Europe, and restoring her confidence in your 
Majesty's pacific policy ; or, by permitting yourself to be 
influenced by the ambitious or interested designs of others, 
of involving Europe in a war, the extent and termination of 
which can hardly be foreseen, and which, whatever glory it 
may add to the arms of France, cannot but interfere materially 
with her internal prosperity and financial credit. I am sure 
that your Majesty will not doubt the sincerity of the friendship 
which alone induces me to write thus unreservedly to your 
Majesty, and if anything could add to the sorrow with which 
I should view the renewal of war in Europe, it would be to see 
your Majesty entering upon a course with which it would be 
impossible for England to associate herself." * 

The King of the Belgians to Queen Victoria. 

LAEKEN, 4th February 1859. 

MY DEAREST VICTORIA, . . . Heaven knows what dance 
our Emperor Napoleon Troisieme de nom will lead us. In a 
few days he will have to make his speech. I fear he is deter- 
mined on that Italian War. The discussions in Parliament 
may influence him ; I fear party spirit in lieu of a good and 
right sense of what is the interest of Europe. It was praise- 
worthy that you said in your Speech that treaties must be re- 
spected, else indeed we return to the old Faustrecht we have 
been striving to get rid of. It is curious that your speech has 
made the funds fall again : I presume they hoped at Paris 

1 The Queen accordingly wrote a letter, which is printed in the Life of the Prince 
Consort, assuring the Emperor that rarely had any man had such an opportunity as was 
now his for exercising a personal influence for the peace of Europe, and that, by faithful 
observance of Treaty obligations, he might calm international anxieties. 


that you would have been able to say that you congratulated 
Parliament on the prospect of peace being preserved. For 
us poor people who find ourselves aux premieres loges, these- 
uncertainties are most unsatisfactory. Your devoted Uncle^ 


Queen Victoria to the Earl of Derby. 

WINDSOR CASTLE. 5th February 1859. 

With regard to a decision which will have to be taken when 
the report of the Indian Army Commission shall have been 
received, the Queen thinks it incumbent upon her not to leav& 
Lord Derby in ignorance of her firm determination not to> 
sanction, under any form, the creation of a British Army, 
distinct from that known at present as the Army of the Crown. 

She would consider it dangerous to the maintenance of India, 
to the dependence of the Indian Empire on the mother country, 
and to her Throne in these realms. 

Such an Army would be freed from the proper control of 
the constitutional monarchy. It would be removed from the 
direct command of the Crown, and entirely independent of 
Parliament. It would throw an unconstitutional amount of 
power and patronage into the hands of the Indian Council and 
Government ; it would be raised and maintained in antagonism 
to the Regular Army of the Crown ; and professional jealousy, 
and personal and private interests, would needs drive it into a 
position of permanent hostility towards that Army. 

This hostility has been already strongly marked in the pro- 
ceedings of the Commission itself. 

Its detrimental effects would not be confined to India alone, 
but would form a most dangerous obstacle to the maintenance 
of the government of the Regular Army by the Queen. 
Already, during the Crimean War, most of the blows levelled 
at the Army and the prerogative of the Crown were directed 
by Indian officers, of whom, in future, a vast number would be 
at home, without employment or recognised position, in com- 
pact organisation, and moved by a unity of feeling. 

There may be points of detail, admitting differences of 
opinion as to the relative advantages of a purely local or general 
Military Force for India ; but these are mere trifles, which 
sink into insignificance in the Queen's estimation, when she has 
to consider the duty which she owes to her Crown and her 

The Queen hopes Lord Derby will not consider that she 
intends, by this letter, unduly to influence his free considera- 
tion and decision as to the advice he may think it his duty to 


offer, but merely to guard against his being taken by surprise, 
and to prevent, if possible, an unseemly public difference 
between herself and Lord Stanley. She is impelled to the 
apprehension that such may arise from the manner in which, 
since the first transfer of the Indian Government to the 
Crown, every act of Lord Stanley has uniformly tended to 
place the Queen in a position which would render her helpless 
and powerless in resisting a scheme which certain persons, 
imbued with the old Indian traditions, would appear to wish 
to force upon the Crown. 

The Queen does not expect an answer to this letter from 
Lord Derby, and asks him to treat it as strictly confidential. 

The Queen sees that Lord Stanley means to make a statement 
on Monday on the Indian Finances. She trusts that there 
will be nothing said in that statement to prejudge the Army 

Decipher from Lord Cowley. 

PARIS, Qth February 1859. 
(1 A.M. Received 4. A.M.) 

A great change for the better. The Queen's letter has 
produced an excellent effect, as also the Debates in Parliament. 1 
The Emperor has expressed himself ready to subscribe to every 
word of Lord Derby's speech. 

The Earl of Derby to Queen Victoria. . 

ST JAMES'S SQUARE, 6<A February 1859. 

Lord Derby, with his humble duty, submits to your Majesty 
his respectful acknowledgment of the explicitness with which 
the letter he had the honour of receiving last night conveys to 
him the intimation of your Majesty's views upon the important 
subject of the Indian Army. He cannot, however, disguise 
from your Majesty the deep pain which that communica- 
tion has occasioned him ; first, that your Majesty should think 
that Lord Stanley has so far mistaken his duty as systemati- 
cally to place your Majesty in a false position ; and next because 
unless Lord Derby misconceives the purport of your Majesty's 
letter, he fears that it may leave him no alternative but that of 
humbly entreating to be relieved from a responsibility which 

i Parliament was opened by the Queen in person on the 3rd ; the ensuing debates, 
and especially the speeches of the Liberal leaders, showed that, however much the 
English nation, as a whole, might sympathise with Italian aspirations for the expulsion 
of the Austrians from Lombardy, they would regard unfavourably a war commenced 
in defiance ot Treaty obligations. 


nothing should have induced him to undertake but a sense of 
duty to your Majesty, and the conviction that he might rely 
with confidence upon your Majesty's continued support. It 
would ill become Lord Derby to attempt to argue a question 
on which your Majesty has expressed so strong a determina- 
tion ; he has studiously avoided taking any step which might 
prejudge a question so important as the organisation of your 
Majesty's Forces in India. He has awaited the report of the 
Commission appointed to enquire into the subject, and though 
aware of the wide difference of opinion which prevailed, has 
desired impartially to weigh and examine the arguments 
adduced on both sides, and he has in the meantime refused 
to give his sanction to a proposition, earnestly pressed 
upon the Government by Lord Canning, for immediately 
raising additional regiments for Indian Service. But the- 
announcement of your Majesty's determination (if he rightly 
understands it), under no circumstances to continue an 
European Army in India, under terms of service different from, 
those of the Line, paid out of Indian Revenues, and officered by 
men educated for that especial service, and looking to India 
for their whole career, places Lord Derby in a position of 
no little embarrassment ; for notwithstanding the gracious 
intimation that your Majesty does not desire unduly to in- 
fluence his judgment as to the advice which he may tender, it 
amounts to a distinct warning that if tendered in a particular 
direction it has no chance of being accepted by your Majesty. 
Nor, with that knowledge on his part not shared by his col- 
leagues, can he freely discuss with them the course which they 
may consider it their duty to pursue. 

Lord Derby humbly trusts, therefore, that your Majesty 
will be graciously pleased, so far as the members of the Govern- 
ment are concerned, to absolve him from the obligation of 
secrecy, and to allow him to place before them a state of things 
which may lead to the most serious results, so far as their 
power of serving your Majesty is concerned. 

Lord Derby will give Lord Stanley a caution not to say 
anything in his statement of Indian Finance which may pre- 
judge the question of a single or separate armies ; but he hardly 
thinks the caution necessary, as European troops, whether in 
one Service or in two, will equally be chargeable to the revenues 
of India, which will only be affected by the proportion which 
the whole of the European may bear to the whole of the 
native forces. 

Lord Derby hopes that he may be permitted to offer his 
humble congratulations to your Majesty on the very favourable 
reports received from Paris by telegraph, and upon the highly 


satisfactory effects produced by your Majesty's private letter 
to the Emperor. 

The above is humbly submitted by your Majesty's most 
dutiful Servant and Subject, DERBY. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Derby. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 1th February 1859. 

The Queen is very sorry to learn from Lord Derby's letter, 
received last evening, that her communication to him on the 
Indian Army question had caused him deep pain. She had 
long hesitated whether she should write it, from a fear that its 
purport and motive might possibly be misunderstood ; but 
feeling that there ought to exist nothing but the most unre- 
served and entire confidence between herself and her Prime 
Minister, she thought it incumbent upon her to let Lord Derby 
see exactly what was passing in her mind. 

If, notwithstanding the Queen's expressed hope that Lord 
Derby might not consider the communication as intended un- 
duly to influence his free consideration of the important subject, 
he should feel that its possession, without being at liberty to 
communicate it to his colleagues, does so in effect, she would 
ask him to return it to her, and to consider it as not having 
been written. If he should think, however, that a com- 
munication of the Queen's views to the Cabinet is due to them, 
she is quite prepared to make one. In that case it would 
naturally have to be differently worded, would omit every 
reference to Lord Stanley, and might go more into detail. 

The Queen cannot close this letter without correcting some 
misapprehensions into which Lord Derby seems to have fallen. 
It was not the Queen's intention to impute any motives of 
systematic action to Lord Stanley ; she referred simply to 
facts and steps, known as well to Lord Derby as to herself, 
which " uniformly tended " to place her in a powerless position 
with regard to the Army question. 

The Queen protested against " the creation of a British 
Army distinct (in its existence and constitutional position) 
from that of the Crown," and not against the " continuance 
of an European Army, under terms of service different from 
the Line, paid out of Indian Revenues, and officered by men 
educated for that special service, and looking to India for their 
whole career." In fact, she does not understand what meaning 
Lord Derby attaches to the words " terms of service." Every 
force kept in India, however constituted, would be paid out of 
Indian Revenues. This would therefore not form the dis- 
tinction, and Lord Derby cannot intend to convey that on 
these revenues one set of Englishmen can have a greater claim 


than another ; nor does she see why English officers, com- 
manding English soldiers and charged with the maintenance 
of their discipline and efficiency, should for that object require 
to be specially and differently educated, and be restricted to 
look to India for their whole career. Officers attached to 
native troops are in a different position. 

The Earl of Derby to Queen Victoria. 

ST JAMES'S SQUARE, 7th February 1859. 

Lord Derby, with his humble duty, submits to your Majesty 
his grateful acknowledgments for your Majesty's most gracious 
note received this evening, the contents, and still more the 
tenor of which have relieved him from the painful appre- 
hension that he might be called upon to choose between a 
strong sense of public duty, and, on the other side, his deep 
devotion to your Majesty's service, and his gratitude for the 
favourable consideration which his imperfect attempts to 
discharge his public duty had always received at your Majesty's 
hand. The explanation, with which he has now been hon- 
oured, of your Majesty's views has entirely dispelled those 
apprehensions, and he feels that he has only to thank your 
Majesty for the gracious explanation, with which he has 
been honoured, of your Majesty's motives in addressing to 
him the letter which certainly caused him " deep pain." . . - 1 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Derby. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 8th February 1859. 

The Queen has received Lord Derby's letter of yesterday, 
and is pleased to find that he now appreciates the motives 
which dictated her first letter. It needs no assurance on 
her side that she never doubted those which actuate Lord 
Derby. The Queen will, in compliance with his request, 
defer any further notice of the subject until the Commissioners 
shall have made their report ; it would not be fair, however, 
to Lord Derby, not to add that she fears from his explanation 
that he has not now correctly estimated the nature of the 
Queen's objection, which is not to a variety of forces, terms 
of service, local or general employment, etc., etc., etc., es- 
tablished in one Army, but to the principle of two British 

i Lord Derby then proceeded to deal at some length with the status of the troops in 
India, concluding with the opinion that the local forces in India should never exceed 
those sent from home as part of the Kegular Army, subject to the ordinary routine of 

.m, Vol. HI. 


Queen Victoria to General Peel. 1 

13th February 1859. 

The Queen relies with confidence that when the question 
of the Indian Army comes before the Cabinet, General Peel 
will stoutly defend the interests of the Crown and the British 
Army. On the opinion which he will give and maintain 
much of their decision must depend, and unless he speaks 
out boldly the Indian Secretary will have it all his own way. 

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 15th February 1859. 

MY DEAREST UNCLE, We came here to settle yesterday 
and also here Spring seems wonderfully forward ! It can't 
last and frost is sure to follow and cut off everything. At 
Windsor and Frogmore everything is budding willow I see 
is green rose-leaves out, and birds singing like in May ! 

Accept my warmest thanks for your kind letter of the 
llth. I. still hope that matters will cool down the Emperor 
personally expressed regret to Hiibner for his words, dis- 
claiming the construction put upon them, and saying that 
no one could dispute the right of Austria to her Italian pos- 
sessions. 2 He has not written to me lately, but I wrote him 
ten days ago a long friendly letter, speaking out plainly our 
fears for the future, and urging him to aid us in averting 
the calamity of War. . . . 

Our Parliament is as quiet as pczsible as yet, but it will 
soon have more cause for action and excitement. . . . 

Bertie's interview with the Pope went off extremely well. 
He was extremely kind and gracious, and Colonel Bruce 
was present ; it would never have done to have let Bertie 
go alone, as they might hereafter have pretended, God knows ! 
what Bertie had said. . . . With Albert's love, ever your 
devoted Niece, VICTORIA R. 

The Earl of Derby to Queen Victoria. 

DOWNING STREET, 2lst February 1859. 

Lord Derby, with his humble duty, and in obedience to 
the commands which he had the honour of receiving from 
your Majesty last night, submits the following suggestions, 
as embodying the substance of what, in his humble judgment 

1 General Jonathan Peel, brother of Sir Robert Peel (the Premier), and Secretary of 
State for War. 

2 See ante, p. 309, note. 

VOL. Ill 11 


your Majesty might address with advantage in a private 
letter to the Emperor of Austria. 

Your Majesty might say, that deeply penetrated with the 
conviction of the duty imposed upon your Majesty of acting 
on the principles enunciated in the speech from the Throne, 
of exercising whatever influence your Majesty could employ 
for the preservation of the general peace, your Majesty had 
looked with anxiety to the circumstances which threatened its 
continued existence. That your Majesty was unable to see 
in those circumstances, any which were beyond the reach 
of diplomatic skill, if there were only a mutual desire, on 
the part of the Chief Powers concerned, to give fair piay 
to its exercise. That the only source of substantial danger 
was the present state of Italy ; and that even in that 
there would be little danger of interruption to the general 
tranquillity, were it not for the antagonism excited by in- 
terests and engagements, real or supposed, of France and 

That your Majesty believed that the supposed divergence 
of these interests and engagements might be capable of recon- 
ciliation if entered into with mutual frankness, and with a 
mutual disposition to avoid the calamities of war ; but that, 
as it appeared to your Majesty, neither party would be willing 
to invite the other to a friendly discussion of the points of 
difference between them. 

That in this state of affairs your Majesty, as a mutual friend 
of both Sovereigns, and having no individual interests to 
serve, entertained the hope that by the spontaneous offer 
of good offices, your Majesty might be the means of estab- 
lishing certain bases, on which the Powers mainly interested 
might subsequently enter into amicable negotiations with 
regard to the questions chiefly in dispute, or threatening 
serious results. 

Of these, the most pressing are those which relate to the 
Italian Peninsula. 

That your Majesty, anxiously revolving in your mind 
the question how your Majesty's influence could best be 
brought to bear, hp,d come to the conclusion that your 
Majesty's Ambassador at Paris, having the fullest know- 
ledge of the views entertained by that Court, and possess- 
ing your Majesty's entire confidence, might usefully be 
intrusted with a highly confidential, but wholly unofficial 
mission, for the purpose of ascertaining whether there were 
any possibility consistently with the views of the two Courts 
of offering such suggestions as might be mutually accept- 
able as the basis of future arrangements ; and, if such 

1859] CHURCH RATES 323 

should happily be found to be the case, of offering them 
simultaneously to the two parties, as the suggestions of a 
mutual friend. 

That your Majesty trusted His R.I. A. 1 Majesty would 
look upon this communication in the truly friendly light 
in which it was intended, and that Lord Cowley, in his un- 
official and confidential character, might be permitted fully 
to develop the views which your Majesty entertained, and 
to meet with the most favourable consideration of his sug- 
gestions from His R.I. A. Majesty. 

Lord Derby, before submitting the above to your Majesty, 
has thought it right to communicate it to Lord Malmesbury 
and Lord Cowley, and he is enabled to say that it meets with 
their entire concurrence. 2 He will be highly gratified if he 
is permitted to know that it is honoured by your Majesty's 
gracious approval. All which is humbly submitted by your 
Majesty's most dutiful Servant and Subject, DERBY. 

Mr Disraeli to Queen Victoria. 

HOUSE OP COMMONS, 2lst February 1859. 

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, with his humble duty 
to your Majesty, informs your Majesty that the Government 
measure on Church Rates was introduced to-night, in a very 
full House, and was received with so much favour that the 
Chancellor of the Exchequer has every belief that it will pass. 
This is very unexpected, and the satisfactory settlement of 
this long agitated and agitating question will be a great relief 
to public life, and tend to restore and augment the good- 
humour of the country. 3 

It is generally rumoured that, on Friday next, Lord Palmer- 
ston is to move a vote of censure upon your Majesty's Govern- 
ment with respect to their Foreign Policy. The Chancellor 
of the Exchequer scarcely credits this, and would rather 
suppose that the formal censure will take the shape of a rattling 
critique, preceding some Motion for papers. 

1 Royal and Imperial Apostolic. 

2 The Queen acted on this advice, and wrote a letter on the 22nd to the Emperor of 
Austria, on the lines of Lord Derby's suggestions. The material parts of it are printed 
in the Life of tlie Prince Consort, vol. iv. chap. 92. 

3 Since the Braintree case in 1853, no rate could legally be levied except by the 
majority of the rate-payers. The present Bill was designed to exempt Dissenters 
from payment, excluding them at the same time from voting on the subject in the vestry 
meeting. Sir John Trelawney, the leader of the Abolitionist party in the House, how- 
ever, procured the rejection of the proposed measure, and a solution was not arrived 
at till 1868. 


Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 1st March 1859. 

MY DEABEST UNCLE, Many thanks for your kind letter 
of the 25th. Matters remain much in the same state. Lord 
Cowley arrived on Sunday at Vienna, but we know nothing 
positive yet. I much fear the obstinacy of Austria. 

It will indeed be a blessing if we could do something not 
only to avert the war for the present, but to prevent the 
causes of it, for the future. Nothing but improvement in the 
Italian Governments can bring about a better state of things. 
What is really the matter with the King of Naples l ? 

We found the poor Queen really very tolerably well at 
Claremont on Saturday. She is decidedly better than when 
we saw her at the end of November. Poor Joinville is suffering 
from an accident to his bad knee. 

Here our Reform Bill has been brought in yesterday. 2 
It is moderate, and . . . [Lord John] has therefore allied 
himself with Mr Bright and Mr Roebuck against it ! He 
has no other followers. The Debate on Foreign Affairs on 
Friday was extremely moderate, and can only have done 
good. 3 

It is rumoured that you are going to Berlin to the Christen- 
ing, but I doubt it ! Oh ! dearest Uncle, it almost breaks 
my heart not to witness our first grandchild christened ! I 
don't think I ever felt so bitterly disappointed about anything 
as about this ! And then it is an occasion so gratifying to 
both Nations, which brings them so much together, that it 
is most peculiarly mortifying ! It is a stupid law in Prussia, 
I must say, to be so particular about having the child chris- 
tened so soon. However, it is now no use lamenting ; please 
God ! we shall be more fortunate another time ! With 
Albert's affectionate love, ever your devoted Niece, 


Affectionate love to your children. When does Philip go 
to Italy ? 

The Emperor of Austria to Queen Victoria. 

VIENNE, le 8 Mars 1859. 

MADAME ET CHEBE SCEUB, J'ai reQU des mains de Lord 
Cowley la lettre que votre Majeste a bien voulu lui conner 

1 Ferdinand II., known as Bomba, died on the 22nd of May in the same year. 

2 See Introductory Note, ante, p. 307. 

3 In this debate Lord Palmerston urged the Ministry to mediate between Austria 
and France, in order to obtain their simultaneous withdrawal from Rome, and Mr Disraeli 
announced the confidential mission of Lord Cowley as " one of peace and conciliation." 


et dont le contenu m'a offert un nouvel et precieux temoignage 
de 1'amitie et de la confiance qu'elle m'a vouees, ainsi que 
des vues elevees qui dirigent sa politique. Lord Cowley a 
ete aupres de moi le digne interprete des sentimens de votre 
Majeste, et je me plais a lui rendre la justice, qu'il s'est acquit te 
avec le zele eclaire, dont il a deja fourni tant de preuves, de 
la mission confidentielle dont il etait charge. 

J'ai hautement apprecie les motifs qui vous ont inspire 
la pensee de m' envoy er un organe de confiance pour echanger 
nos idees sur les dangers de la situation. Je m'associe a tous 
les desirs, que forme votre Majeste pour le maintien de la 
paix, et ce n'est pas sur moi que pesera la responsabilite de 
ceux, qui evoquent des dangers de guerre sans pouvoir articuler 
une seule cause de guerre. 

Lord Cowley connait les points de vue auxquels j' envisage 
les questions qui forment 1'objet ou le pretexte des divergences 
d' opinion qui subsistent entre nous et la France ; il sait aussi 
que nous sommes disposes a contribuer a leur solution dans 
1' esprit le plus conciliant, en tant qu'on n'exige pas de nous 
des sacrifices que ne saurait porter aucune Puissance qui se 
respecte. Je forme des vceux pour que votre Majeste puisse 
tirer parti des elemens que Lui apportera son Ambassadeur, 
dans 1'interet du maintien de la paix que nous avons egale- 
ment a coeur. 

Mais quelles que soient les chances et les 6preuves que 
1'avenir nous reserve, j'aime a me livrer a 1'espoir que rien 
ne portera atteinte aux rapports d'amitie et d' union que je 
suis heureux de cultiver avec votre Majeste, et que Ses sym- 
pathies seront acquises a la cause que je soutiens et qui est 
celle de tous les ltats independans. 

C'est dans ces sentimens que je renouvelle a votre Majeste 
1'assurance de 1'amitie sincere et de 1'inalterable attachement 
avec lesquels je suis, Madame et chere Sceur, de votre Majeste, 
le bon et devoue frere et ami, FRANCOIS JOSEPH. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Malmesbury. 

20th March 1859. 

The Queen has received Lord Malmesbury's letter 1 written 
before the Cabinet yesterday. The Memorandum of Lord 
Cowley and the telegrams from Vienna give better hopes of 
the idea of Congress or Conference leading to a good result. 

i Lord Cowley had returned from his mission to Vienna, and was now again at Paris 
The complexion of affairs had been changed by a suggestion on the part of Russia (which 
may or may not have been ultimately prompted from Paris) for a Conference between 
England, Prance, Austria, Prussia and Russia, to settle the Italian Question. Cavour 
pressed for the admission of Piedmont to the Conference. 


Everything will now depend upon the Emperor Napoleon's 
acceptance of the conditions on which Austria is willing to 
agree to a Conference. The Queen would like to have a 
copy of Lord Cowley's memorandum. 1 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Malmesbury. 

OSBORNE, 22nd March 1809. 

The Queen thanks Lord Malmesbury for his communica- 
tion of yesterday, which she received this morning. She 
quite approves the steps taken by the Government, 2 and 
concurs in Lord Malmesbury 's views. If the understanding 
about a Conference first of the five Powers, and then of the 
Italian States with them, could be so far come to that France 
and Austria agree with us upon the conditions on which it is 
to take place, we need not wait for Russia's proposing it. 
She is evidently playing, as she always does, a double game, 
and from Sir John Crampton's 3 letter it appears that she 
never meant to propose a Congress, but merely to accept one, 
for ulterior objects. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Malmesbury. 

OSBORNE, 27th March 1859. 

The Queen trusts that Lord Malmesbury will act with 
the utmost circumspection in answering the many telegrams 
crossing each other from all directions respecting the pro- 
posed Congress. An understanding with Austria on every 
point ought, if possible, to precede our giving our opinion 
to France or Russia. If they can once get the Powers to 
agree upon a point upon which Austria disagrees, they have 
won the game, and the Emperor can proceed to his war, 
having a declaration of Europe against Austria as his basis. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Malmesbury. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 12th April 1859. 

The Queen has marked a passage in this draft, which she 
thinks it would be advisable to modify so as not to put 

1 Lord Malmesbury's letter to Lord Cowley, written immediately after the Cabinet, 
enjoined him to impress upon the Emperor that England would only address herself to 
the four points evacuation of the Roman States by foreign troops, reform, security for 
Sardinia, and a substitute for the treaties of 1847 between Austria and the Duchies. 

2 An attempt to obtain the disarmament of Austria and Sardinia, and a proposal to 
obtain the co-operation of France, in guaranteeing to defend Sardinia against invasion by 
Austria for five years, unless Sardinia left her own territory. On the 23rd, Lord Malmes- 
bury wrote that all the great Powers, except Austria, had agreed to a Congress upon the 
conditions laid down by the British Government. 

3 English Ambassador at St Petersburg, formerly Minister at Washington ; see ante, 
p. 219. He had succeeded to the baronetcy in 1858. 


upon record (should the Austrians refuse to give way on this 
point) that we consider their conduct as " reckless." Should 
they persist, they would certainly not meet with as much 
sympathy as they would do if they yielded, and such a course 
on their part would be very much to be regretted, as we 
consider every sacrifice small, in comparison to the blessings 
of preserving peace; but still Austria would have a perfect 
right to stand out and we originally supported her in this 

If something which expressed the above sentiments and 
opinions could therefore be substituted for the present pas- 
sage, the Queen thinks it would be very desirable for the 
juture, both as regards Austria and England. 

The Earl of Derby to Queen Victoria. 

DOWNING STREET, 21st April 1859. 

Lord Derby, with his humble duty, submits to your Majesty 
that it has appeared to him, in consultation with his colleagues, 
with the exception of Lord Hardwicke and Sir John Paking- 
ton, who are out of Town, that the only step which can properly 
be taken at present is to protest strongly against the course 
which Austria is now taking, and to warn her that whatever 
may be the results to herself, she deprives herself of all claim 
to the support or countenance of England. 1 Your Majesty 
will see by another telegram, received a few minutes ago 
from Lord Cowley, that Hubner ! ! advises that England 
should threaten to come to the aid of Sardinia, if the con- 
templated invasion should take place ! Your Majesty's 
servants are not, however, prepared to take so strong a step, 
which would commit them to measures to which they might 
be unable at the moment to give due effect ; and which, if 
Austria were to disregard the measure, would involve them in 
War as the Allies of France. They have therefore limited 
themselves to a protest, the terms of which will require to be 
very carefully considered before it is embodied in a despatch. 
Lord Malmesbury will submit to your Majesty by this mes- 
senger the terms of his telegram. ... To appeal at once to 
arms, when no question, except this of form, remained un- 
settled as to the meeting of Congress, and the subjects to be 
then discussed, had been unanimously agreed to, appears to 
Lord Derby to indicate a reckless determination to go to war 
which it will be very difficult to justify in the eyes of Europe. 

1 On the 19th, Count Buol despatched an emissary, Baron Kellersberg, to Turin, with 
a summons to Sardinia to disarm, under the threat of immediate hostilities if she declined. 
Sardinia indignantly refused, whereupon the Austrian troops crossed the Ticino. 


For the moment these events rather diminish than increase 
the probability of a rupture with France, while they will task 
her means to the uttermost, and not improbably overthrow 
her personal dynasty ! 

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 26th April 1859. 

MY DEAREST UNCLE, I hardly know what to say, so con- 
fused and bewildered are we by the reports which come in 
three or four times a day ! I have no hope of peace left. 
Though it is originally the wicked folly of Russia and France 
that have brought about this fearful crisis, it is the madness 
a-nd blindness of Austria which have brought on the war 
now ! x It has put them in the wrong, and entirely changed 
the feeling here, which was all that one could desire, into the 
most vehement sympathy for Sardinia, though we hope now 
again to be able to throw the blame of the war on France, who 
now won't hear of mediation, while Austria is again inclined 
to do so ! 

It is a melancholy, sad Easter ; but what grieves me the 
most (indeed, distracts me) for I have had nothing but 
disappointments in that quarter since November is that 
in all probability Vicky will be unable to come in May ! It 
quite distracts me. You also must be very anxious about 
dear Charlotte ; I hope she will not remain at Trieste, but 
go to Vienna. Her being in Italy is really not safe. . . . 
Now with kind loves to your children, ever your affectionate 
and devoted Niece, VICTORIA R. 

The Earl of Derby to Queen Victoria. 

ROEHAMPTON, 27th April 1869. 

. . . Lord Derby has thought it necessary, in consequence 
of the attitude assumed by Russia, notwithstanding her 
assurances that there is nothing hostile to England in her 
secret treaty with France, to call upon Sir J. Pakington to 
say what addition could be made to the Channel Fleet within 
a period of two or three months, without weakening that in 
the Mediterranean. He has the honour of enclosing the 
answer, which he has just received by messenger. Lord Derby 
proposes to go up to Town to confer with Sir J. Pakington 
on this important subject to-morrow, and Lord Malmesbury 

l Referring to an understanding reported to have been arrived at between Prance and 
Russia, the suspicion of which created great indignation in England. Prince Gort- 
schakoff and the French Emperor, in answer to enquiries, gave conflicting explanations. 


has summoned a Cabinet for Friday to consider the general 
state of affairs. 

France having absolutely refused the proffered mediation 
of England, and Austria having only accepted it under the 
condition of the disarmament of Sardinia, every effort to 
preserve the peace has been exhausted ; and it only remains 
for this country to watch the course of events, to protect her 
own interests, and to look out for any opportunity which may 
offer to mediate between the contending parties. This policy, 
announced by Lord Derby in the City on Monday, 1 was re- 
ceived with unanimous approval. It will require a great 
deal to induce the country to be drawn into a war under any 
circumstances, and Lord Derby's anxious efforts will not be 
wanting to avoid it as long as possible. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Derby. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 29th April 1859. 

The Queen has read the last telegrams with much pain, 
as they show that there is no chance left of stopping war. 
Indeed she thinks, considering the progress of revolution in 
the Duchies, and the daily increase of military strength of 
France and financial exhaustion of Austria, that it would 
not be morally defensible to try to restrain Austria from 
defending herself while she still can. 

Count Buol's proposal to continue negotiations during the 
fight sounds strange, but ought not to be altogether put 
aside. The King of Sardinia's assumption of the Govern- 
ment of Tuscany 2 and military occupation of Massa-Carrara 
form gross infractions of the Treaties of 1815 and international 
law, and can hardly be left without a protest from us. 

Has Lord Derby heard that a Russian Fleet is expected 
soon to appear in the Black Sea ? The Queen has just heard 
it from Berlin, where it is supposed to be certain, and it 
would explain Lord Cowley's report of (the Queen believes) 
Prince Napoleon's 3 account of the Russian engagements, 
which are admitted to contemplate a junction of the French 
and Russian Fleets to defend the Treaty closing the Dar- 

1 He had there described Austria's action as hasty, precipitate, and (because involving 
warfare) criminal, but the Government would still (he added) strive to avert war, by 
urging Austria, under the Treaty of Paris, to invoke the mediation of the Powers. The 
Derby Government, however, were supposed to be giving encouragement to Austria. 
See Lord Derby's letter of the 2nd of June, post, p. 336. 

2 See Introductory Note, ante, p. 308. The Duchy of Modena and the Grand Duchy 
of Tuscany were in revolution, and the Duchy of Parma soon followed their example. 

3 See post, p. 331, note 1. 

VOL. Ill 11* 


The Earl of Derby to Queen Victoria. 

KOEHAMPTON, 1st May 1859. 
(Sunday night, 12 P.M. ) 

. . . Lord Derby entirely concurs in your Majesty's opinion 
that no credit is to be attached to the denials of the French 
or Russian Governments in regard to the engagements sub- 
sisting between them. 1 It is very easy to convey denials 
in terms which are literally true, but practically and in spirit 
false ; and Lord Derby has no doubt but that France is well 
assured that in any case she may rely upon the tacit assist- 
ance, if not the active co-operation, of Russia ; and that 
both Powers are using their utmost endeavours to excite 
troubles in the East, as well as in Italy, as the result of which 
France may gratify her cherished designs of ambition in the 
latter, while Russia carries on her projects of aggrandisement 
in the former. This is a lamentable state of affairs ; but it 
is Lord Derby's duty to assure your Majesty that no Govern- 
ment which could be formed in this country could hope to 
carry public opinion with it in taking an active part, as matters 
now stand, in opposition to France and Russia, if in truth 
they are acting in concert, as Lord Derby believes that they 
are. All that can be done is to maintain the principle of strict 
neutrality in regard to the affairs of Italy, and probably of 
Montenegro also, though there is not sufficient evidence of 
facts in that case to justify a positive conclusion. But in 
the meantime everything shows more conclusively the ab- 
solute necessity for the increase of your Majesty's Naval 
Force, 2 which was determined at the Council yesterday, and 
respecting which it will be necessary, on the very first day 
of the meeting of the new Parliament, to call for an explicit 
expression of opinion. 

Your Majesty enquires as to a supposed pledge given by 
the Emperor of the French as to a denial of any Treaty with 
Sardinia. So far as Lord Derby can recollect at this moment, 
there never was more than an assurance that so long as Austria 
remained within her own limits, he would not interfere ; and 
that he would not support Sardinia, unless she were herself 
invaded in any unjustifiable attack on Austria ; and there 
was also a denial in the Moniteur, to which your Majesty 
probably refers, of there having been any engagement entered 

1 Lord Cowley, in a letter of the 29th of April to Lord Malmesbury, described an 
interview with the Emperor of the French, when the latter denied in terms the existence 
of a signed Treaty between France and Russia. But, as Lord Cowley added, there might 
be moral engagements which might easily lead to a more specific alliance. 

2 The Emperor had interrogated Lord Cowley as to this. 


into as a condition of the marriage* These are just the denials 
to which Lord Derby has already adverted, which appear 
at first sight satisfactory, but which may be afterwards ex- 
plained away, so as to escape the charge of absolute falsehood. 
Lord Derby trusts that your Majesty will have understood, 
and excused, his absence from the Council on Saturday, in 
consequence of the misunderstanding as to the time appointed. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Malmesbury. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 3rd May 1859. 

The Queen has carefully read the enclosed draft. She 
thinks that, without saying anything offensive to France, 2 
this important document would not place matters before that 
Power in the world in accordance with the facts, and would 
lead to erroneous inferences if it left out altogether, as it does, 
any reference to the responsibility which France has had in 
bringing about the present state of affairs. . . . Austria and 
Sardinia are spoken of as the offenders, and blamed, not 
without sufficient ground, for the parts which they have 
respectively acted, and France is treated as if standing on a 
line with us in fostering civilisation, liberty, and peace. The 
inference would be that we forsake her in her noble course, 
and deserve again the name of " perfide Albion." 

The Queen would ask Lord Malmesbury to consider this. 
For the sake of showing how she thinks the omissions danger- 
ous to our position might be supplied, she has added some 
pencil remarks. 

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 3rd May 1859. 

DEAREST UNCLE, Many thanks for you dear, kind letter 
of the 30th. God knows we are in a sad mess. The rashness 
of the Austrians is indeed a great misfortune, for it has placed 
them in the wrong. Still there is one universal feeling of 
anger at the conduct of France, and of great suspicion. The 
Treaty with Russia is denied, but I am perfectly certain that 
there are engagements. . . . 

1 In July 1858, the joint action of Prance and Sardinia had been concerted at the 
confidential interview at Plombieres, between the Emperor and Cavour, the 
undertaking to as^st Sardinia, under certain contingencies, against Austria. On the 
same occasion the marriage was suggested of the Princess Clothilde of Sardinia to the 
Prince Napoleon Joseph Paul, son of Prince Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte. An interesting 
account of the events of this time, and of the character and aims of Cavour, will be found 
in De la Gorce's Histoire du Second Empire ; see especially vol. ii. book 14. 

2 I.e., if the despatch were to abstain from reprobating the French policy. 


Here the Elections are not as satisfactory as could be 
wished, but the Government still think they will have a clear 
gain of 25 to 30 seats, which will make a difference of 50 or 60 
votes on a Division. It gives unfortunately no majority ; 
still, it must be remembered that the Opposition are very 
much divided, and not at all a compact body, which the 
supporters of the Government are. 1 

Lo ?d John has been holding moderate and prudent language 
on Foreign Affairs, whereas Lord Palmerston has made bad 
and mischievous speeches, but not at all in accordance with 
the feelings of the country. The country wishes for strict 
neutrality, but strong defences, and we are maiding our Navy 
as strong as we can. 

You ask me if Louis Oporto 2 is grown ? He is, and his 
figure much improved. He is a good, kind, amiable boy 
whom one must like. He has sailed this morning with the 
Bridegroom, and 011 the 16th or 17th we may expect them 
back with the dear young Bride. 

I venture to send you a letter I received some days ago 
from dear Vicky, and the religious tone of which I think will 
please you. May I beg you to return it me, as her letters 
are very valuable to me ? . . . 

We are well fagged and worked and worried ; we return 
to Town to-morrow afternoon. 

With kindest love to your children, ever your devoted 

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians. 


MY DEAREST UNCLE, I write to-day instead of to-morrow 
to profit by the return of your messenger. Many, many 
thanks for your dear letter of the 6th. What are the Aus- 
trians about ? They would not wait when they ought to have 
done so, and now that they should have long ago made a rush 
and an .attack with their overwhelming force, they do nothing ! 
nothing since the 30th ! leaving the French to become stronger 
and more fit for the struggle every day ! ! It is indeed dis- 

1 After their defeat on the 1st of April on the proposed Reform Bill, the Ministry had 
dissolved Parliament, and had gained in the elections twenty-five seats not enough to 
counterbalance the Palmerstonian triumph of 1857. If, therefore, the various sections 
of the Liberal Party could unite, the displacement of the Derby Government was in- 
evitable. Such a combination was, in fact, arranged at a meeting at Willis's Rooms 
organised by Lord Palmerston, Lord John Russell, Mr Bright and Mr Sidney Herbert. 

2 Brother and successor of King Pedro V. of Portugal, and father of King Carlos. 
The King had married in May 1858 the Duchess Stephanie (born 1837), daughter of 
Prince Antoine of Hohenzollern. 


tracting, and most difficult to understand them or do any tiling 
for them. The Emperor leaves Paris for Genoa to-morrow. 
It is not true that the Empress was so warlike ; Lord Cowley 
says, on the contrary, she is very unhappy about it, and that 
the Emperor himself is low and altered. Old Vaillant goes 
with him as General-Major. . . . Ever your devoted Niece, 


The Earl of Malmesbury to Queen Victoria. 

15th May 1859, 

The Earl of Malmesbury presents his humble duty to the 
Queen, and has the honour to inform your Majesty that Count 
de Persigny 1 called on him yesterday. He passed an hour 
in attempting to prove what it seems he really believes him- 
self that the Emperor had no plan or even intention to 
make war in Italy ; that His Imperial Majesty was drawn into 
it step by step by M. de Cavour, who finally menaced to pub- 
lish his most confidential correspondence, etc. ; that his army 
was totally unprepared, and is now in a very imperfect state, 
and that he himself was overcome with surprise and fear 
when he learnt in the middle of last month that the Austrian^ 
had 120,000 men on the Ticino. 2 The Emperor, however, 
now believes that he will easily gain a couple of victories, and 
that when he has rejete les Autrichiens dans leur taniere (by 
which he means their great fortresses), he will return to govern 
at Paris, and leave a Marshal to carry on the sieges and the 
war. M. de Persigny's letters of appointment are not yet 
signed, and must go to Italy to be so. He stated that a week 
ago he was named Minister of Foreign Affairs, and that Fould, 3 
Walewski, and others were to be dismissed, but that two days 
before the Emperor's departure Madame Walewska 4 and the 
Empress had on their knees obtained a reprieve, and that 
M. de Persigny was ordered to come here sans raisonner. . . 

1 Who had been re-appointed to London, where Marshal Pelissier, Due de MalakhofT, 
had replaced him in 1858. See ante, p. 276. Both Malakhoff and Walewski were out of 
sympathy with the Emperor's present policy. 

2 Sir James Hudson, in a letter written at Turin on the 28th of February, and shown 
to Queen Victoria, described an interview with Cavour, who, in answer to the direct 
question, " Do you mean to attack Austria ? " replied that the Italian question was be- 
coming so complex that it was impossible to say what might happen. Sir J. Hudson 
added that he had learned confidentially that the understanding on the same subject be- 
tween Cavour and the Emperor Napoleon was complete, and that it had been expressed 
thus : " Non seulement nous prendrons la premiere occasion de faire la guerre & 1'Autriche, 
mais nous chercherons un pretexte." 

3 Achille Fould, a Jewish banker, was a colleague of Walewski, though not a loyal one, 
in the French Government. 

4 Madame Walewska was a Florentine by birth, descended on her mother's side from 
the princely family of Poniatowski. 


Queen Victoria to the Earl of Malmesbury. 


The Queen was mucH surprised to receive the enclosed 
telegram. An alliance with Russia to localise and arrest the 
war by joint interference, which is here proposed to Russia, 
is a policy to which the Queen has not given her sanction, 
and which would require very mature deliberation before it 
could ever be entertained. The Queen is much afraid of these 
telegraphic short messages on principles of policy, and would 
beg Lord Malmesbury to be most cautious as they may lead 
us into difficulties without the possibility of previous con- 
sideration. How can we propose to join Russia, whom 
we know to be pledged to France ? The Queen hopes Lord 
Malmesbury will stop the communication of this message to 
Prince Gortschakoff. 1 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Derby. 

OSBORNE, 22nd May 1859. 

In answer to Lord Derby's letter of yesterday referring to 
the importance of concerting with Russia the best modes of 
preventing the extension of the war, the Queen wishes merely 
to observe : That Russia has acknowledged her desire to see 
the Austrians defeated, and her indifference to the maintenance 
of the Treaties of 1815 ; France wages war to drive the 
Austrians out of Italy, wresting from them the Italian pro- 
vinces secured to them by those treaties ; and that the Queen 
has declared from the Throne her adhesion to these treaties 
to which Parliament unanimously responded. France and 
Russia may therefore have an interest, and indeed must have 
one, in not being disturbed in any way in the prosecution of 
their Italian scheme. England can have no such interest. 
If France prove successful, the territorial arrangements of 
Europe, in which England has found safety, and which she 
helped to establish in order to obtain safety against France 
after a war of twenty years' duration, will be subverted, and 
she herself may some day (perhaps soon) have her own safety 
imperilled. The Saxon provinces of Prussia will be in much 
greater danger when France shall have destroyed Austria in 
Italy and ruined her at home, than while the latter remains a 
powerful member of the German Confederation. What the 
Queen is naturally anxious to guard against is our being 

i A telegram had been received from St Petersburg, saying that Prince Gortschakoff 
entirely coincided with Lord Malmesbury's views as to localising the war ; and Lord 
Malmesbury had proposed to send a telegraphic reply containing the words : " We are 
anxious to unite with Russia, not only in localising the war, but in arresting it." 


drawn by degrees into playing the game of those who have 
produced the present disturbance, and whose ulterior views 
are very naturally and very wisely by them concealed from us. 
The Queen is glad to hear that the telegram in question was 
not sent, having been alarmed by its being marked as having 
been despatched " at noon " on the 20th. The Queen wishes 
Lord Derby to show this letter to Lord Malmesbury. 

Queen Victoria to the King of tJie Belgians. 

OSBORNE, 25th May 1859. 

DEAREST UNCLE, Thousand thanks for your dear kind 
letter and good wishes for my old birthday, and for your other 
dear letter of the 21st. Albert, who writes to you, will tell 
you how dreadfully our great, great happiness to have dearest 
Vicky, flourishing and so well and gay with us, was on Monday 
and a good deal too yesterday, clouded over and spoilt by the 
dreadful anxiety we were in about dearest Mamma. Thank 
God ! to-day I feel another being for we know she is " in a 
satisfactory state," and improving in every respect, but I 
am thoroughly shaken and upset by this awful shock ; for it 
came on so suddenly that it came like a thunderbolt upon us, 
and I think I never suffered as I did those four dreadful hours 
till we heard she was better ! I hardly myself knew how I 
loved her, or how my whole existence seems bound up with 
her till I saw looming in the distance the fearful possibility 
of what I will not mention. She was actually packing up to 
start for here ! How I missed her yesterday I cannot say, or 
how gloomy my poor birthday on first getting up appeared I 
cannot say. However, that is passed and please God we 
shall see her, with care, restored to her usual health ere long. 
I trust, dearest Uncle, you are quite well now and that 
affairs will not prevent you from coming to see us next month ? 

Dear Vicky is now a most dear, charming companion 
and so embellie ! 

I must end, having so much to write. Ever your devoted 

I shall write again to-morrow or next day how dear 
Mamma is. 

Queen Victoria to tJie Earl of Derby. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 1st June 1859. 

The Queen takes objection to the wording of the two para- 
graphs * about the war and our armaments. As it stands, it 

^ In the s P eech to be delivered by the Queen at the opening of Parliament on the 
7th of June. 


conveys the impression of a determination on the Queen's 
part of maintaining a neutrality d tout prix whatever 
circumstances may arise, which would do harm abroad, and 
be inconvenient at home. 1 What the Queen may express is 
her wish to remain neutral, and her hope that circumstances 
will allow her to do so. The paragraph about the Navy 2 as 
it stands makes our position still more humble, as it contains 
a public apology for arming, and yet betrays fear of our being 
attacked by France. 

The Queen suggests two amended forms for these passages, 
in which she has taken pains to preserve Lord Derby's words 
as far as is possible, with an avoidance of the objections before 

" Those endeavours have unhappily failed, and war has been 
declared between France and Sardinia on one side, and Austria 
on the other. I continue to receive at the same time assur- 
ances of friendship from both contending parties. It being 
my anxious desire to preserve to my people the blessing of 
uninterrupted peace, I trust in God's assistance to enable me 
to maintain a strict and impartial neutrality." 

" Considering, however, the present state of Europe, and 
the complications which a war, carried on by some of its great 
Powers, may produce, I have deemed it necessary, for the 
security of my dominions and the honour of my Crown, to 
increase my Naval Forces to an amount exceeding that which 
has been sanctioned by Parliament." 

The Earl of Derby to Queen Victoria. 

DOWNING STREET, 2nd June 1859. 

Lord Derby, with his numble duty, submits to your Majesty 
that he has most anxiously, and with every desire to meet 
your Majesty's wishes, reflected upon the effect of the altera- 
tions suggested by your Majesty in the proposed Speech from 
the Throne. He has considered the consequences involved 
so serious that he has thought it right to confer upon the 
subject with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, as Leader of 
the House of Commons ; and it is a duty which he owes to 
your Majesty not to withhold the expression of their clear 
and unhesitating conviction. Lord Derby trusts that your 
Majesty will forgive the frankness with which, in the accom- 

1 The passage originally ran : " Receiving assurances of friendship from both the 
contending parties, I intend to maintain a strict and impartial neutrality, and I hope, 
with God's assistance, to preserve to my people the blessing of continued peace." 

2 The passage originally ran : " I have, however, deemed it necessary, in the present 
state of Europe,. with no object of aggression, but for the security of my dominions, and 
for the honour of my Crown, to increase my Naval Forces to an amount exceeding thut 
which has been sanctioned by Parliament." 


panying observations, he feels it necessary to submit to your 
Majesty the grounds for the view which they are compelled 
to take. 

The first paragraph to which your Majesty takes exception 
is that which intimates your Majesty's " intention " to main- 
tain a strict and impartial neutrality, and " hope " to be 
enabled to preserve peace. Your Majesty apprehends that 
this may be interpreted into a determination to preserve 
neutrality a tout prix ; but Lord Derby would venture to 
observe that such an inference is negatived by the subsequent 
words, which only imply a " hope " of preserving peace. 
With the cessation of that hope, neutrality would necessarily 
terminate. But as matters stand at present, Lord Derby 
is warranted in assuring your Majesty that if there is one sub- 
ject on which more than another the mind of the country is 
unanimous, it is that of an entire abstinence from participation 
in the struggle now going on in Italy. He collects this from 
the language of politicians of almost every class, from all the 
public papers, from Addresses and Memorials which he receives 
every day some urging, and some congratulating him upon 
the adoption of a perfectly neutral policy. The sympathies 
of the country are neither with France nor with Austria, but 
were it not for the intervention of France, they would be 
general in favour of Italy. The charge now made against 
your Majesty's servants, by the opposition Press, as the 
Morning Post and Daily News, is that their neutrality covers 
such wishes and designs in favour of Austria ; and any word 
in your Majesty's Speech which should imply a doubt of 
the continuance of strict impartiality, would, undoubtedly, 
provoke a hostile Amendment, which might very possibly 
be carried in the Sardinian sense, and which, if so carried, 
would place your Majesty in the painful position of having 
to select an Administration, pledged against the interests of 
Austria and of Germany. Lord Derby says nothing of the 
personal results to your Majesty's present servants, because, 
in such cases, personal considerations ought not to be allowed 
to prevail ; and it is in the interest of the country only, and 
even of the very cause which your Majesty desires to uphold, 
that he earnestly trusts that your Majesty will not require 
any alteration in this part of the Speech. There is, at this 
moment, in the country, a great jealousy and suspicion of 
France, and of her ulterior designs as indicated by the 
demand of means of defence, the formation of Volunteer Corps, 
etc. but it is neutralised, partly by sympathy for Italy, 
partly by suspicions, industriously circulated, of the pro- 
Austrian tendencies of the present Government. It is very 

338 THE NAVY [CHAP, xxvm 

important that the language of the Speech should be so decided 
as to negative this impression, and Lord Derby cannot but 
feel that if neutrality be spoken of not as a thing decided 
upon, but which, it is hoped, may be maintained, such lan- 
guage will be taken to intimate the expectation of the Govern- 
ment that it may, at no distant time, be departed from. In 
Lord Derby's humble opinion Peace should be spoken of as 
subject to doubt, because, out of the present struggle, com- 
plications may arise which may necessarily involve us in war ; 
but neutrality, as between the present belligerents, should be 
a matter open to no doubt or question. If there be no attempt 
made to run counter to public opinion, and Austria should 
sustain serious reverses, the jealousy of France will increase, 
and the feeling of the country will support your Majesty in a 
war, should such arise, against her aggression ; but if the 
slightest pretext be afforded for doubting the bond fide 
character of British neutrality, or the firm determination to 
maintain it, an anti-German feeling will be excited, which will 
be fatal to the Administration, and seriously embarrassing 
to your Majesty. 

The same observations apply, with hardly less force, to part 
of the Amendment suggested by your Majesty to the paragraph 
regarding the Navy. With submission to your Majesty, 
Lord Derby can hardly look upon it as humiliating to a great 
country, in announcing a large increase of its Naval Force, 
to disclaim any object of aggression. These words, however, 
might, if your Majesty were so pleased, be omitted, though 
Lord Derby cannot go so far as to say that in his humble 
judgment the omission would be an improvement ; but he 
trusts that your Majesty will be satisfied with a general 
reference to the " state of Europe " without speaking of the 
" complications which a war carried on by some of the Great 
Powers may produce." These words would infallibly lead 
to a demand for explanation, and for a statement of the 
nature of the " complications " which the Government foresaw 
as likely to lead to war. In humbly tendering to your Majesty 
his most earnest advice that your Majesty will not insist on 
the proposed Amendments in his Draft Speech, he believes 
that he may assure your Majesty that he is expressing the 
unanimous opinion of his Colleagues. Of their sentiments 
your Majesty may judge by the fact that in the original draft 
he had spoken of your Majesty's " intention " to preserve 
peace " as long as it might be possible " ; but by universal 
concurrence these latter words were struck out, and the 
" hope " was, instead of them, substituted for the " intention." 
Should your Majesty, however, be pleased so to order, Lord 


Derby will immediately submit the question to the considera- 
tion of his Colleagues, in order that your Majesty may be put, 
in the most authentic form, in possession of their views. He 
assures your Majesty that nothing can be more repugnant to 
his feelings than to appear to offer objections to any sug- 
gestions emanating from your Majesty ; and he has only been 
induced to do so upon the present occasion by the deep con- 
viction which he entertains of the danger attending the course 
proposed, and the serious embarrassments which it would 
cause your Majesty. He regrets more especially having been 
compelled to take this step at a moment when your Majesty's 
thoughts are very differently engaged, and when it may be 
doubly irksome to have matters of public business pressed 
upon your Majesty's consideration. 

The above is humbly submitted by your Majesty's most 
dutiful Servant and Subject, DERBY. 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Derby. 


The Queen has received Lord Derby's answer to her ob- 
servations on the proposed Speech. There is in fact no differ- 
ence of opinion between her and Lord Derby ; the latter only 
keeps in view the effect which certain words will have in 
Parliament and upon the country, whilst she looks to the 
effect they will produce upon the European conflict. If the 
Queen were not obliged to speak, both positions might be 
well reconciled ; but if what she is going to declare from the 
Throne is to allay suspicions purposely raised by the Op- 
position against the Government that they intended to take 
part at some moment or other in the war, and is to give ab- 
solute security to the country against this contingency, this 
will be the very thing France would wish to bring about in 
order to ensure to her the fullest liberty in prosecuting her 
schemes for disturbing and altering the territorial state of 
Europe. How is this impression to be avoided ? Lord 
Derby thinks that the expression of " hope " to be able to 
preserve peace to this country is a sufficient indication that 
this country reserves to herself still a certain liberty of action ; 
but the Queen would have interpreted it rather as the expres- 
sion of a hope, that we may not be attacked, particularly when 
followed by the sentence in which all intention of aggression 
is disclaimed, and that our armaments are merely meant for 
defence. The sense would then appear as this : "As the 
belligerents separately assure me of their friendship, I am 


determined to maintain a strict neutrality between them, and 
hope they may not change their minds, and attack me ; I 
arm, but merely to defend myself if attacked." This would 
abdicate on the part of this country her position as one of 
the arbiters of Europe, declare her indifference to treaties or 
the balance of power (which are, in fact, of the greatest value 
to her), and would preclude her from any action to preserve 
them. The Queen fully enters into the Parliamentary diffi- 
culty, and would deprecate nothing more than to expose the 
Government to a defeat on an Amendment which would lead 
to the formation of a new Government on the principle of 
neutrality a tout prix imposed by Parliament on the Crown. 

It will be for Lord Derby and his colleagues to consider how 
far they may be able to avoid this danger without exposing 
themselves to that pointed out by the Queen. She puts herself 
entirely in his hands, and had suggested the verbal amend- 
ments merely with a view to indicate the nature of the diffi- 
culty which had struck her. Whatever decision Lord Derby 
may on further reflection come to, the Queen is prepared to 
accept. 1 

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Malmesbury. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 5th June 1859. 

The Queen has read Lord Cowley's letter with regret. 
Nothing could be more dangerous and unwise than at this 
moment to enter into negotiations with Russia on the best 
manner of disposing of the Emperor of Austria's dominions. 
The Queen cannot understand how Lord Cowley can propose 
anything so indefensible in a moral point of view. 

Mr Disraeli to Queen Victoria. 

HOUSE OF COMMONS [ ? 7th June 1859.] 
(Tuesday, quarter-past eight o'clock.) 

The Chancellor of the Exchequer with his humble duty to 
your Majesty. 

Lord Hartington 2 spoke like a gentleman ; was badly 

1 Ultimately the Cabinet recommended the modification of the declaration of neutrality 
by the insertion of the words " between them " ; so as to run : "I intend to maintain 
between them a strict and impartial neutrality," etc. ; and in the second paragraph pro- 
posed to omit the words " with no object of aggression, but "and adopting the form 
of the Queen's paragraph, but omitting the words referring to possible complications, to 
leave it thus : " Considering, however, the present state of Europe, I have deemed it 
necessary for the security of my Dominions," etc. 

2 Lord Hartington, afterwards eighth Duke of Devonshire, moved an Amendment 
to the Address, expressing a want of confidence in the Ministry. 


Chancellor of Exchequer rose immediately at six o'clock, 
and is just down. The House very full, and very enthusiastic. 

The Chancellor of Exchequer presumes to say he thinks he 
satisfied his friends. 1 

The Earl of Derby to Queen Victoria. 

ST JAMES'S SQUARE, 10th June 1859. 

Lord Derby, with his humble duty, submits to your Majesty 
that the tone of the Government Agents in the House of 
Commons is less sanguine to-day than it was yesterday with 
regard to the issue of the Debate to-night. There are no actual 
changes announced of votes, but the tone of the Opposition 
is more confident ; and when an opinion begins to prevail 
that the Government are likely to be in a minority, it often 
realises itself by the effect which it produces on waverers and 
lukewarm supporters. The Division will certainly take place 
to-night ; and, without absolutely anticipating failure, Lord 
Derby cannot conceal from your Majesty that he considers 
the situation very critical. Mr Gladstone expressed privately 
his opinion last night that, even if successful on the present 
occasion, the Government could not possibly go on, which 
does not look like an intention, on the part of the Liberal 
Party, of considering the present division as decisive. 2 . . . 

Mr Disraeli to Queen Victoria. 

HOUSE OP COMMONS, llth June 1859. 
(Saturday morning, half-past two o'clock.) 

The Chancellor of the Exchequer with his humble duty to 
your Majesty : 

For the Amendment 323 

For the Address 310 

Majority against your Majesty's servants . 13 

1 He flung his taunts right and left at the now united Opposition, and was especially 
bitter against Sir James Graham. Referring to the Liberal meeting on the 6th, Mr 
Disraeli reminded the House that Willis's Rooms had, as Almack's, formerly been main- 
tained by fashionable patronesses. " The distinguished assemblies that met within 
those walls were controlled by a due admixture of dowagers and youthful beauties 
young reputations and worn celebrities and it was the object of all social ambition to 
enter there. Now Willis's Rooms are under the direction of patrons, and there are two 
of these patrons below the gangway " (indicating Lord John Russell and Mr Sidney 
Herbert). In regard to its Foreign Policy, he said the Government should not be con- 
demned without direct documentary evidence. Lord Malmesbury has since deplored 
Mr Disraeli's neglect to produce the Blue Book with the correspondence relating to the 
affairs of Italy and Austria, and stated that, had he laid it on the table, the debate would 
have ended differently (Memoirs of an Ex-Minister, vol. ii. p. 188). 

2 The rest of the letter relates to the distribution of honours to the outgoing Ministers. 


Queen Victoria to the Earl of Derby. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, llth June 1859. 

The Queen was very much grieved to receive Mr Disraeli's 
report of the division of yesterday, although she was fully 
prepared for this event. 

She did not answer Lord Derby's letter of yesterday in 
order not to anticipate it. Now that the fate of the Govern- 
ment is decided, she is prepared to grant those favours and 
acknowledgments of service for which Lord Derby asked in 
his letter. The Queen could not reconcile it with her own 
feelings, however, were she to omit this opportunity, when 
Lord Derby for the second time resigns the post of her Prime 
Minister, of giving to him personally a public mark of her 
approbation of his services. The Queen therefore asks him 
to accept the Garter from her hands. 

As the Queen holds a Drawing-room to-day, and receives 
the City Address after it, Lord Derby will be aware how little 
time she has this morning (being naturally anxious to have 
some conversation with him with as little delay as possible) ; 
she would ask him to come here either at half -past eleven or 
half -past twelve o'clock. 

The Earl of Derby to Queen Victoria. 

ST JAMES'S SQUARE, llth June 1859. 

Lord Derby, with his humble duty, submits to your Majesty 
the expression of his deep gratitude for your Majesty's most 
gracious note this moment received, and for the terms in which 
your Majesty has been pleased to speak of his very imperfect 
services. He gratefully accepts the honour which your 
Majesty has been pleased to confer upon him as a mark of 
your Majesty's personal favour. As a Minister, he could never 
have advised your Majesty to bestow it upon him, and he 
could not have accepted it on the recommendation of any 
Government to which he was politically opposed ; but as a 
spontaneous act of your Majesty, it acquires in his eyes a 
value which nothing else could have given to it. Lord Derby 
is this moment going down to the Cabinet, as a matter of 
form, and will obey your Majesty's commands as soon as 
possible after half-past eleven, when he will have an oppor- 
tunity of expressing in person his deep sense of your Majesty's 
goodness, and his entire devotedness, in whatever situation 
he may be placed, to your Majesty's service. 


Memorandum by Earl Granville. 

[Undated, llth June 1859.] 

I waited at four o'clock this afternoon * upon the Queen by 
Her Majesty's gracious commands. The Queen was pleased 
to remark upon the importance of the present crisis. Her 
Majesty informed me that Lord Derby had resigned, and that 
she had sent for me to desire that I should attempt to form 
another Administration, which Her Majesty wished should be 
strong and comprehensive. I respectfully assured the Queen 
that Her Majesty's commands came upon me by surprise ; 
that at any time I felt my own insufficiency for such a post, 
and that at this time there were special difficulties ; that I 
believed the only two persons who could form a strong Liberal 
Government were either Lord Palmerston or Lord John 
Russell ; and that, although it had sometimes happened that 
two statesmen of equal pretensions preferred having a nominal 
chief to serving under one another, I did not believe that this 
was the case now. I said that I had reason to believe that 
Lords Palmerston and John Russell were ready to co-operate 
with one another, while I doubted whether either would 
consent to serve under a younger man of such small pretensions 
as myself. 

The Queen in reply informed me that her first thoughts had 
been turned to Lord Palmerston and Lord John Russell, that 
they had both served her long and faithfully, and that Her 
Majesty felt it to be an invidious task to select one of the two. 
Her Majesty was also of opinion that as different sections of 
the Liberal Party were more or less represented by each, it 
might be more easy for the Party to act together under a third 
person. Her Majesty added that she had selected me as the 
Leader of the Liberal Party in the House of Lords, and a 
person in whom both Lord Palmerston and Lord John Russell 
had been in the habit of placing confidence, and she expressed 
her confident hope that their attachment to herself would 
induce them to yield that assistance without which it would 
be difficult to form a strong and comprehensive Government. 

I proceeded to state some of the most salient difficulties of 
the task, and asked Her Majesty's permission to ascertain by 
negotiation what it would be possible to do. 

Her Majesty informed me that Her Majesty's experience 
of former changes of administration had taught her that the 
construction of an administration had failed when the person 
entrusted with the task had acted merely as a negotiator, and 
that the success of other attempts had been owing to the 

1 The llth of June. 


acceptance of the charge by the person for whom, she had 
sent. Her Majesty laid Her Majesty's commands upon me 
to make the attempt, and I had the honour of conveying two 
letters from Her Majesty to Lord Palmerston and Lord John 
Russell, stating that Her Majesty relied upon their assistance. 

~ _. . c Viscount Palmerston. 

Queen Victoria to [ Lord John RussdL 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, llth June 1859. 

The Queen gives these lines to Lord Granville, whom she 
has entrusted with the task of forming an administration on 
the resignation of Lord Derby. She has selected him as the 
Leader of the Liberal Party in the House of Lords. She feels 
that it is of the greatest importance that both Lord Palmerston 
and Lord John Russell should lend their services to the Crown 
and country in the present anxious circumstances, and thought 
at the same time that they might do so most agreeably to their 
own feelings by acting under a third person. They having 
both served the Queen long and faithfully as her First Minister, 
she must not conceal from Lord Palmerston (John Russell) 
that it is a great relief to her feelings not to have to make the 
choice of one of them, and she trusts that they will feel no 
difficulty to co-operate w^ith one in whom they have both been 
in the habit of placing confidence. From the long experience 
the Queen has had of Lord Palmerston's (John Russell's) 
loyal attachment to her and the service of the Crown, she feels 
confident she may rely on Lord Palmerston's (John Russell's) 
hearty assistance. 1 

Earl Granville to Queen Victoria. 

BKUTON STREET, llth June 1859. 
(2 A.M.) 

Lord Granville presents his humble duty to your Majesty, 
and begs to submit that he saw Lord Palmerston immediately 
after he had left Buckingham Palace. Lord Granville stated 
what had passed there, omitting any reference to your Ma- 
jesty's objection to the effect likely to be produced on the 
Continent by Lord Palmerston's name, if he had the direction 
of the Foreign Affairs. Nothing could be more frank and 
cordial than Lord Palmerston's manner. He agreed to lead 
the House of Commons ; he said that he had certainly antici- 

l In reply, Lord Palmerston (in a letter printed in Ashley's Life of Lord Palmerston, 
vol. ii. p. 155) accepted his responsibility for uniting with others to overthrow the Derby 
Ministry, and undertook to serve under either Lord John Russell or Lord Granville, but 
stipulated that any Government he joined must be an efficient and representative one. 


pated that your Majesty would have sent for either Lord John 
or himself, but having taken a part in the defeat of the present 
Government, he felt bound to put aside any personal objects, 
and co-operate with me ; and that there was no person whom 
he should prefer or even like as much as myself. He added 
that his co-operation must depend upon my being able to 
form a strong Government. Lord Granville then saw Lord 
John Russell, and had a very long conversation with him. 
Lord John had no objection to serving under Lord Granville, 
but thought that he could not give effect to his political views 
unless he was either Prime Minister or Leader of the House 
of Commons, and he doubted whether he had confidence in 
any one but Lord Palmerston for the Foreign Office. Lord 
Granville again saw Lord Palmerston, who informed him that 
if he had been sent for, he should have objected to go to the 
House of Lords, and that he could not now give up the lead 
of the House of Commons (which Lord Granville had already 
proposed to him to retain) to Lord John. This answer 
rendered it unnecessary for Lord Granville to allude to the 
objections to his holding the Foreign Office. Lord Granville 
has seen Lord Clarendon, who acted up to the full spirit of 
your Majesty's letter, but deprecates strongly the attempt to 
form a Government without Lord John Russell. Sir George 
Grey is of the same opinion. Sir George Lewis, Mr Herbert, 
and Mr Gladstone think every effort should be made to secure 
Lord John, but that it would not be impossible to form a 
Government without him. Mr Milner Gibson, with whom 
Lord Granville had a more reserved conversation, considered 
it a sine qua non condition of support from the Liberal Party 
below the gangway, that Lord John should be a member of 
the Government. Lord Granville thinks that in his third 
interview with Lord Palmerston he observed more dissatis- 
faction at not being sent for by your Majesty. Lord Palmer- 
ston suggested that Lord John's absence from the Government 
would make it more difficult for a Leader of the House, who 
was not Prime Minister, to hold his position. 

Lord Granville has written to Lord John asking for a final 
answer before he informs your Majesty, whether he is able 
to attempt the task which your Majesty has with so much 
kindness and indulgence laid upon him. 1 

1 This letter, and Lord John's reply declining to occupy only the third office in the 
State, and expressing his anxiety for adequate security in the handling of Foreign Affairs 
and Reform, are printed in Walpole's Life of Lard John Russell, vol. ii. chap, xxvii. 

Lord Granville then wrote to Lord John : " I am glad that I wrote to you yesterday 
evening, as your answer gave me information which I had not gathered from your con- 
versation in the morning. I came away from Ghesham Place with the impression that 
union between you and Palroerston with or without me was impossible. Tour letter 
afforded a good opportunity of arrangement. As soon as I found by it that I was an 


Queen Victoria to the Earl of Derby. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 12th June 1859. 

The Queen writes to inform Lord Derby that after a fruitless 
attempt on the part of Lord Granville to form a Government 
comprising Lord Palmerston and Lord John Russell, she has 
now charged Lord Palmerston with the task, which she trusts 
may prove more successful. . . . 

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria. 

94 PICCADILLY, 12th June 1859. 

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty, and begs to report that he has been to Pembroke 
Lodge, and has had a satisfactory conversation with Lord 
John Russell, who has agreed to be a Member of the Govern- 
ment without any suggestion that Viscount Pamerston should 
leave the House of Commons ; but Viscount Palmerston is 
sorry to say that Lord John Russell laid claim to the Foreign 
Office in a manner which rendered it impossible for Viscount 
Palmerston to decline to submit his name to your Majesty 
for that post when the List of the new Government shall be 
made out for your Majesty's consideration and approval. . . . 

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston. 

13th June 1859. 

Lord Clarendon has just left the Queen. She had a long 
and full conversation with him. Nothing could be more 
friendly than his language, and he expressed himself ready 
to do anything for the Queen's service. But he positively 
declines entering the Cabinet or taking any other office. He 
says, as Foreign Secretary, he should be ready to join the 
Government should there be a vacancy ; but that he has never 
directed his attention much to general politics, and his taking 
any other office, after having held the Foreign Seals during 
a long and important time, would be of no use to the Govern- 
ment, and would only injure himself. The Queen told him 
that he might have any office almost (naming several of those 
which Lord Palmerston discussed with her), but she could not 

obstacle instead of a facility towards the formation of a strong Government, I went to 
the Queen to ask her to excuse me from the task which she had so unexpectedly and so 
graciously imposed upon me. In answer to a question, I stated to Her Majesty that it 
was disagreeable to me to advise as to which of you and Palmerston she should send for, 
but that I was ready to do so if it was her wish. 

" The Queen did not press me. It is a great relief to have finished this business. I 
have asked Palmerston to do whatever would strengthen the Government, and assist him 
the most as regards myself." 


urge nor press him to do what he felt would injure him, and 
indeed she found him quite determined in his purpose. 

His absence from the Cabinet the Queen sincerely deplores, 
and she knows that Lord Palmerston will feel it a serious 

Queen Victoria to Earl Granville. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 13th June 1859. 

The Queen is much shocked to find her whole conversation 
with Lord Granville yesterday and the day before detailed 
in this morning's leading article of the Times. 1 What passes 
between her and a Minister in her own room in confidential 
intercourse ought to be sacred, and it will be evident to Lord 
Granville that if it were not so, the Queen would be precluded 
from treating her Ministers with that unreserved confidence 
which can alone render a thorough understanding possible ; 
moreover, any Minister could state what he pleased, against 
which the Queen would have no protection, as she could not 
well insert contradictions or explanations in the newspapers 

Earl Granville to Queen Victoria. 

LONDON, 13th June 1859. 

Lord Granville presents his humble duty to your Majesty, 
and feels deeply your Majesty's reproof. 

Lord Granville was extremely annoyed this morning at 
seeing the article in the Times of to-day, repeating with some 
accuracy, but in a vulgar, inflated manner, the account which 
Lord Granville gave yesterday afternoon to many of his 
political friends, and which he believed your Majesty had 
authorised him to do. Lord Granville in that account laid 
much stress on the reasons which your Majesty gave for sending 
for Lord Granville, as he found that attempts had been made 
to attribute every sort of motive which might render the Court 

Besides the gross impropriety of the appearance of report- 
ing your Majesty's conversation, Lord Granville regrets the 
indirect attack upon Lord John Russell. 

Lord Granville begs respectfully to express to your Majesty 
his vexation at the annoyance, which he has thus been the 
cause of inflicting on your Majesty, particularly at a moment 

l A circumstantial account of the Queen's conversation with Lord Granville had 
appeared in the Times, and Lord Derby drew attention to the matter in the House of 
Lords. Lord Granville in reply expressed his regret in not having used more complete 
reserve, and frankly attributed the disclosures to his non-observance of adequate dis- 

348 MR COBDEN [CHAP, xxvm 

when your Majesty had just given him an additional proof of 
the indulgent kindness and confidence which your Majesty 
has been pleased to place in him. 

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria. 

94 PICCADILLY, 1st July 1859. 

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty, and has been unable till within the last few minutes 
to make any Report about Mr Cobden, from whom he had 
received no communication till about an hour ago, when Mr 
Cobden came to him. 1 The result of a long conversation 
between them has been that Mr Cobden, against the advice of 
all his friends and of his constituents, has decided to decline 
taking office. He grounds his decision upon feelings personal 
to himself. He thinks that after having so often and so strongly 
disapproved of the Foreign Policy of Viscount Palmerston as 
tending too much to involve this country in war, it would 
be inconsistent for him to join the present Cabinet, and he 
also said that, at his time of life and with his general habits, 
he does not consider himself fit for administrative office. 

Viscount Palmerston used every [means] in his power to 
induce him to change his decision, and showed that, with 
respect to present and future action, there is no apparent 
difference between his views and those of Mr Cobden, since 
both would desire that this country should remain neutral in 
the war now raging in Italy. All his arguments, however, 
were useless, and though Mr Cobden discussed the matter in 
the most friendly and good-humoured manner, and promised 
to give out of office all support to the Government, and said 
that he thought he could do so more effectually out of office 
than in office, he could not be persuaded to make any change 
in the answer which he came to give. 

Viscount Palmerston will consider what arrangement he 
may have to propose to your Majesty in consequence of Mr 
Cobden' s answer. 

in the month of June 1859. 

First Lord of the Treasury . . VISCOUNT PALMERSTON. 
Lord Chancellor .... LORD CAMPBELL. 
President of the Council . . EARL GRANVILLE. 
Lord Privy Seal .... DUKE OF ARGYLL. 
Home Secretary . . . . Sir G. C. LEWIS. 

l Mr Cobden had been visiting the United States. On landing at Liverpool he learned 
that he had been elected at Rochdale, and at the same time he received an offer of the 
Board of Trade. 

1859] MR BRIGHT 349 

Foreign Secretary .... LORD JOHN (afterwards EARL) 


Colonial Secretary .... DUKE OF NEWCASTLE. 
Secretary for War . . . Mr SIDNEY HERBERT (afterwards 

Secretary for India . . .Sir CHARLES WOOD (afterwards 


Chancellor of the Exchequer . . Mr GLADSTONE.! 
First Lord of the Admiralty . . DUKE OF SOMERSET. 
President of the Board of Trade . Mr MILNER GIBSON (appointed 

in July). 

Postmaster-General . . . EARL OF ELGIN. 
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Sir GEORGE GREY. 
Chief Secretary for Ireland . . Mr (afterwards VISCOUNT) CARD- 

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria. 

94 PICCADILLY, 2nd July 1859. 

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty. . . . 

Viscount Palmerston has heard from several persons that 
Mr Bright would be highly nattered by being made a Privy 
Councillor ; would your Majesty object to his being so made 
if it should turn out that he wishes it ? There hava been 
instances of persons made Privy Councillors without office, 
and if Mr Bright could be led by such an honour to turn his 
thoughts and feelings into better channels such a change could 
not fail to be advantageous to your Majesty's service. . . . 

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 2nd July 1859. 

The Queen has received Lord Palmerston's letter of to-day. 
She is sorry not to be able to give her assent to his proposal 
with regard to Mr Bright. 2 Privy Councillors have some- 
times exceptionally been made without office, yet this has been 
as rewards, even in such cases, for services rendered to the 
State. It would be impossible to allege any service Mr Bright 
has rendered, and if the honour were looked upon as a reward 
for his systematic attacks upon the institutions of the country, 
a very erroneous impression might be produced as to the 

1 Lord Aberdeen wrote, in a letter printed in Parker's Sir James Graham, vol. ii. p. 388, 
that the wish of Lord Palmerston, expressed in a speech at Tirerton, " to sue the 
Germans turned out of Italy by the war, has secured Gladstone . . . notwithstanding the 
three articles of the Quarterly and the thousand imprecations of late years." 

2 In 1859, Lord Palmerston, in offering Mr Cobden a seat in the Cabinet, rejected the 
idea of accepting Mr Bright as a colleague, on the ground that his public speeches made it 
impossible. Mr Bright, later in life, was a welcome guest at Windsor, and the Queen 
became warmly attached to him as one of her Ministers. 


feeling which the Queen or her Government entertain towards 
these institutions. It is moreover very problematical whether 
such an honour conferred upon Mr Bright would, as suggested, 
wean him from his present line of policy, whilst, if he continued 
in it, he would only have obtained additional weight in the 
country by his propounding his views as one of the Queen's 
Privy Councillors. 

Earl Canning to Queen Victoria. 

CALCUTTA, 4th July 1859. 

Lord Canning presents his humble duty to your Majesty, 
and begs permission to offer to your Majesty his respectful 
thanks for your Majesty's most gracious letter of the 18th 
of May. 

Lord Canning ventures to believe that he is well able to 
figure to himself the feelings with which your Majesty will 
have welcomed the termination of the Mutiny and Rebellion 
in India, and of the chief miseries which these have brought 
in their train. He hopes that your Majesty will not have 
thought that there has been remissness in not marking this 
happy event by an earlier public acknowledgment and thanks- 
giving in India, as has already been done in England. 1 The 
truth is, that although this termination has long been steadily 
and surely approaching, it is but just now that it can be said 
to be complete in the eyes of those who are near to the scene 
of action. It is only within the last three weeks that the 
exertions of our Troops on the Oudh and Nepaulese frontier, 
and in some other parts, have been remitted, and almost every 
Gazette has recounted engagements with the rebels, which, 
although they have invariably had the same issue, would 
scarcely have consisted with a declaration that peace and 
tranquillity were restored. Now, however, military operations 
have fairly ceased, and the rains and the climate, which would 
make a continuance of those operations much to be regretted, 
will do their work amongst the rebels who are still in arms in 
the Nepaul jungles more terribly than any human avengers. 

Lord Canning has used every exertion and device to bring 
these wretched men to submission ; but many it is difficult to 
say how many, but certainly some few thousands still hold out. 
With some of them the reason no doubt is that they belong to 
the most guilty Regiments, and to those which murdered their 
officers ; but this cannot apply to all ; and it is to be feared 
that the prevailing cause is the bad influence of their leaders 

l There had been a Public Thanksgiving in England on the 1st of May. 


the Nana, Bala Rao, and the Begum ; x or rather the Begum's 
infamous advisers. It is certain that all of these, believing their 
own position to be desperate, have spared no pains to persuade 
their followers that the Government is seeking to entrap them, 
and that, if they submit, their lives will be taken. . . . 

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston. 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 5th July 1859. 

The Queen is much shocked to see that the Government 
last night moved for a Committee of the House of Commons 
to enquire into the Military Departments, without having 
previously communicated with the Queen on the subject. 
She is the more surprised at this, as Lord Palmerston told her, 
when she saw him on the formation of the present Government, 
and she expressed her anxiety on the subject, that there would 
be no more trouble about it, and he thought it would drop. 
The Queen expects that the names of those who it is proposed 
should compose the Committee, and the wording of it, will be 
submitted to her. 

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria. 

PICCADILLY, 5th July 1859. 

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty, and begs to state that the re-appointment of the 
Committee on the Organisation of the Military Departments 
was unavoidable. That Committee had been affirmed by the 
House of Commons and consented to by the late Government, 
and had begun its sittings ; but when a Dissolution of Parlia- 
ment was announced, it suspended its further sittings, with 
the understanding that it should be revived in the new Parlia- 
ment ; and to have departed from that understanding would 
have been impossible. That which Viscount Palmerston 
intended to convey in what he said to your Majesty on the 
subject was, that the evidence given by Lord Panmure might 
be deemed as having fully set aside the objection urged against 
the present organisation by persons unacquainted with the 
bearing upon it of the fundamental principles of the Constitu- 
tion, namely, that the Crown acts in regard to Military matters 
without having any official adviser responsible for its acts. 
Such a condition of things, if it could exist, would be at variance 
with the fundamental principles of the British Constitution, 
and would be fraught with danger to the Crown, because then 

i Bala Rao was a brother of Nana Sahib, chief instigator of the Sepoy Mutiny. See 
ante, p. 238. 


the Sovereign would be held personally answerable for admin- 
istrative acts, and would be brought personally in conflict in 
possible cases with public opinion, a most dangerous condition 
for a Sovereign to be placed in. 

The maxim of the British Constitution is that the Sovereign 
can do no wrong, but that does not mean that no wrong can 
be done by Royal authority ; it means that if wrong be done, 
the public servant who advised the act, and not the Sovereign, 
must be held answerable for the wrongdoing. 

But the Ministers of the Crown for the time being are the 
persons who are constitutionally held answerable for all ad- 
ministrative acts in the last resort, and that was the pith and 
substance of the evidence given by Lord Panmure. Those 
persons who want to make great changes in the existing 
arrangements were much vexed and disappointed by that 
evidence, and the attempt made yesterday to put off the Com- 
mittee till next year on the ground that the evidence now to 
be taken would be one-sided only, and would tend to create 
erroneous impressions, was founded upon those feelings of 

Viscount Palmerston submits names of the persons whom 
Mr Sidney Heroert proposes to appoint on the Committee, and 
they seem to be well chosen. 

Lord John Bussell to Queen Victoria. 

PEMBROKE LODGE, IQth July 1859. 
(7 P.M.) 

Lord John Russell presents his humble duty to your Majesty. 
He has just received from Lord Palmerston, who is here, the 
paper, a copy of which is enclosed. 1 

Lord John Russell has to add that Lord Palmerston and he 
are humbly of opinion that your Majesty should give to the 
Emperor of the French the moral support which is asked. 
It is clearly understood that if the Emperor of Austria declines 
to accept the propositions, Great Britain will still maintain 
her neutral position. 

But it is probable that her moral support will put an end 

l At the seat of war, a series of decisive French victories had culminated in the battle 
of Solferino, on Midsummer Day (see Introductory Note, ante, p. 308). But the French 
Emperor was beginning to think these successes too dearly purchased, at the expense ot 
so many French lives, and, actuated either by this, or some similar motive, he attempted, 
on the 6th of July, to negotiate through the British Government with Austria. The 
attempt was a failure, but an armistice was signed on the 8th, and again the Emperor 
sought the moral support of England. The paper which Lord John Russell submitted 
was a rough memorandum of M. de Persigny's, proposing as a basis of negotiation the 
cession of Lombardy to Piedmont, the independence of Venetia, and the erection of an 
Italian Confederation. 


to the war, and your Majesty's advisers cannot venture to 
make themselves responsible for its continuance by refusing 
to counsel your Majesty to accept the proposal of France. 

Queen Victoria to Lord John Russell. 


The Queen has just received Lord John Russell's letter 
with the enclosure which she returns, and hastens to say in 
reply, that she does not consider the Emperor of the French 
or his Ambassador justified in asking the support of England 
to proposals he means to make to his antagonist to-morrow. 
He made war on Austria in order to wrest her two Italian 
kingdoms from her, which were assured to her by the treaties 
of 1815, to which England is a party ; England declared her 
neutrality in the war. The Emperor succeeded in driving 
the Austrians out of one of these kingdoms after several 
bloody battles. He means to drive her out of the second by 
diplomacy, and neutral England is to join him with her moral 
support in this endeavour. 

The Queen having declared her neutrality, to which her 
Parliament and people have given their unanimous assent, 
feels bound to adhere to it. She conceives Lord John Russell 
and Lord Palmerston ought not to ask her to give her " moral 
support " to one of the belligerents. As for herself, she sees 
no distinction between moral and general support ; the moral 
support of England is her support, and she ought to be pre- 
pared to follow it up. 

The Queen wishes this letter to be communicated to the 
Cabinet. 1 

Queen Victoria to Lord John Russell. 

OSBORNE, 12th July 1859. 

The Queen has to acknowledge the receipt of Lord John 
Russell's letter reporting to her the result of the deliberations 
of the Cabinet, which has very much relieved her mind. Lord 
John does not say whether her letter was read to the Cabinet, 
but from his former letter she concludes it was. She is most 
anxious that there should exist no misapprehension on their 
part as to the Queen's views. Our position must be consistent 
and precisely defined. A negotiation to stop the effusion of 
blood, and to attain " a peace which would be for the interests 
of all belligerents," is a very vague term. Who is to judge of 

i The Queen not having been informed whether this instruction had been complied 
with, a correspondence took place on the subject between the Prince and Lord Granville. 
See the Life of Lord Granville, vol. i. chap. xiii. 

VOL. Ill 12 

354 END OF THE WAR [CHAP, xxvm 

those interests ? Is M. de Persigny or the Emperor Napoleon's 
opinion to be the guide, as they just now proposed to us ? 
Austria must be considered the exponent of her own interests. 
Prussia has explained to us the interests of Germany in the 
maintenance of the line of the fortresses on the Mincio, and was 
answered ; her views were entirely erroneous, and her appre- 
hensions exaggerated. It will require the greatest caution on 
our part not to lose our neutral position, nor to be made the 
advocate of one side. Are the wishes of the Lombards, 
Tuscans, etc., really ascertainable, while their countries are 
occupied by French and Sardinian armies ? The Queen 
encloses an extract of a letter from the first Napoleon to his 
son, Prince Eugene, 1 showing how the expression of a wish for 
annexation has already of old been used as a means for 

Queen Victoria to Lord John Russell. 

OSBORNE, 13th July 1859. 

The Queen has received the news of a concluded peace, 2 
which Lord John Russell has sent to her yesterday, with as 
much surprise as it must have caused Lord John. It was 
a joyous intelligence, as far as the stopping of the further 
effusion of innocent blood and the security against further 
diplomatic complications is concerned, but it gives cause for 
serious reflection. The Emperor Napoleon, by his military 
successes, and great apparent moderation or prudence im- 
mediately after them, has created for himself a most formidable 
position of strength in Europe. It is remarkable that he has 
acted towards Austria now just as he did towards Russia after 
the fall of Sebastopol ; and if it was our lot then to be left 
alone to act the part of the extortioner whilst he acted that of 
the generous victor, the Queen is doubly glad that we should 
not now have fallen into the trap, to ask Austria (as friends and 
neutrals) concessions which he was ready to waive. He will 
now probably omit no occasion to cajole Austria as he has done 
to Russia, and turn her spirit of revenge upon Prussia and 
Germany the Emperor's probable next victims. Should he 
thus have rendered himself the master of the entire Continent, 
the time may come for us either to obey or to fight him with 
terrible odds against us. This has been the Queen's view 
from the beginning of this complication, and events have 

1 Eugene de Beauharnais, Duke of Leuchtenberg, son of the Empress Josephine by 
her first marriage, and adopted son of Napoleon I. 

2 The armistice had arranged that the Emperors should meet at Villafranca, where 
peace was concluded. See Introductory Note, ante, p. 308. The Italian Confederation 
was to be under the presidency of the Pope. 


hitherto wonderfully supported them. How Italy is to prosper 
under the Pope's presidency, whose misgovernment of his own 
small portion of it was the ostensible cause of the war, the 
Queen is at a loss to conceive. But the Emperor will be able to 
do just as he pleases, being in military command of the country, 
and having Sardinia, the Pope, and Austria as his debtors. 

The Queen would like this letter to be communicated to 
the Cabinet. 

Lord John Russell to Queen Victoria. 

FOREIGN OFFICE, 13r/ July 1859. 

Lord John Russell presents his humble duty to your Majesty ; 
he will read your Majesty's letter to the Cabinet to-morrow. 

The Emperor Napoleon is left no doubt in a position of great 
power. That position has been made for him by allowing him 
to be the only champion of the cause of the people of Italy. 

But that is no reason why we should seek a quarrel with 
France, and there is some reason to doubt whether the speeches 
made in the House of Lords, while they display our weakness 
and our alarm, are really patriotic in their purpose and 

To be well armed, and to be just to all our neighbours, appears 
to Lord John Russell to be the most simple, the most safe, and 
the most honest policy. 

Queen Victoria to Lord John Russell. 

OSBORNE, 14th July 1859. 

The Queen acknowledges the receipt of Lord John Russell's 
communications of yesterday. She entirely agrees with him 
" that we have no reason to seek a quarrel with France," and 
that " the most simple and most safe and most honest " line 
of conduct for us will be " to be well armed, and to be just to 
all our neighbours." 

She trusts that as the poor Duchess of Parma 1 appears 
to be overlooked in the Italian Peace merely because nobody 
thinks it his business to befriend her, we shall in the above 
spirit ask for justice and consideration for her. 

The Queen concurs with Lord John that it will now be 
useless to communicate to France the advice given to the 

i Louise Marie de Bourbon, daughter of the Due de Berri, and widow of Charles III., 
Duke of Parma. She was at this time Regent for her son Robert, a minor (born 1848), 
the present Duke. 


Mr Odo Russell to Lord John Russell. 
(Submitted to the Queen.) 

ROME, 17th Jiilt/ 1859. 

MY LORD, Some days since a letter from the " Pontifical 
Antechamber," directed to " Signor Odoni Russell, Agente 
Officioso di Sua Maesta Britannica," informed me that His 
Holiness the Pope desired to see me. 

In consequence I proceeded to the Vatican, and was ushered 
into the presence of His Holiness by Monsignore Talbot, the 
" Cameriere " in waiting, who immediately withdrew, and 
I remained alone with the Pope. 

His Holiness welcomed me with his usual benevolence and 
good humour. He seemed very gay, and spoke with more 
than customary frankness, so much so indeed that I have 
felt some hesitation as to the propriety of submitting what 
passed between us to your Lordship. But after mature 
reflection, I think it best you should be in possession of an 
accurate and conscientious account of the sentiments of 
His Holiness in the present important juncture of affairs. 

" Caro mio Russell," the Pope said, " you have been sc 
long at Naples that I was already thinking of sending after 
you to bring you back ; we do not like you to leave us, and 
the more so as I have heard you were attached to the Mission 
of Mr Elliot, 1 who is a son of Lord Minto ; and if he enter- 
tains the same political views as his father, he is a dangerous 
man to the peace of Italy. Now I knew Lord Minto here, 
and although he may be a very good man, I do not think 
him a man of any capacity, and his doctrines were calculated 
to bring on the ruin of Italy." 

I replied, " I cannot agree with your Holiness, for I con- 
sider Lord Minto to be a very clever man, whose honest, 
sound, and liberal views, had they been listened to, might 
have prevented the crisis which is now convulsing Italy." 

The Pope said, " Well, of course you belong to his party, 
but, Poveri noi f what is to become of us with your uncle 
and Lord Palmerston at the head of affairs in England ? 
They have always sympathised with the turbulent spirits 
of Italy, and their accession to power will greatly increase 
the hopes of the Piedmontese Party. Indeed, I well know 
what the English Government want : they want to see the 
Pope deprived of his temporal power." 

I replied, " Again I regret to find your Holiness so entirely 
mistaken with respect to the policy of England. We derive 

1 Mr (afterwards Sir) Henry Elliot, P.O., G.O.B., was Plenipotentiary to Naples. He 
was subsequently Ambassador at Vienna, and died in 1907. 


great happiness from our free institutions, and we would 
be glad to see our neighbours in Europe as happy and as 
prosperous as we are, but we have no wish to interfere with 
the internal concerns of other nations, or to give advice with- 
out being asked for it ; least of all as a Protestant Power 
would we think of interfering one way or the other with the 
Government of your Holiness." 

The Pope said, " I do not doubt the good intentions of 
England, but unfortunately you do not understand this 
country, and your example is dangerous to the Italian minds, 
your speeches in Parliament excite them, and you fancy 
because constitutional liberties and institutions suit you, 
that they must suit all the world. Now the Italians are a 
dissatisfied, interfering, turbulent and intriguing race ; they 
can never learn to govern themselves, it is impossible ; only 
see how they follow Sardinia in all she tells them to do, simply 
because they love intrigue and revolution, whilst in reality 
they do not know what they want ; a hot-headed people like 
the Italians require a firm and just government to guide 
and take care of them, and Italy might have continued 
tranquil and contented, had not the ambition of Sardinia 
led her to revolutionise the whole country. The Grand Duke 
of Tuscany, for instance, is an excellent and just man, and 
nevertheless, at the instigation of Piedmont, he was turned 
out of the country, and for no earthly purpose. I suppose 
you have read Monsieur About's book about Rome * ? well, 
all he says is untrue, pure calumny, and it would be easy 
for me to have it all refuted ; but he is really not worthy of 
such an honour. His book, I see, has been translated into 
English, and I have no doubt it will be much read and believed 
in England. Such books and our refugees mislead your 
countrymen, and I often wonder at the language your states- 
men hold about us in the Houses of Parliament. I always 
read their speeches. Lord Palmers ton, Lord John Russell, 
and Mr Gladstone do not know us ; but when I think how 
kindly and hospitably Lord Granville was received at Rome 
last winter, and then read the extraordinary speech he made 
last February about us, I think the gout he suffered from 
here must have gone to his head when he reached England, 
and I wonder how Her Majesty the Queen could send for 
him to form a Government ! Then again, Mr Gladstone, 
who allowed himself to be deceived about the Neapolitan 
prisoners he does not know us and Italy and Mr Cobden, 
I knew him in 1847 he is always in favour of peace, and he 

i Bdmond About, a French journalist (1828-1885), had published La Question Romaine, 
an attack on the Papacy. See De la Gorce, Histoire du Second Empire, vol. ii. p. 365. 


must be very fond of animals, for when he came here from 
Spain he wanted me to write to that country and put a stop 
to bull-fights a very good man, but I do not know his views 
about Italy. And Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, do you think 
he will be employed again ? he seemed so anxious to get a 
place. Mr Disraeli was my friend ; I regret him. But tell 
me, caro mio Russell, if you are a prophet, how all this war 
and fuss is to end ? " 

I replied, " Your Holiness has better claims to being a 
prophet than I have, and I sincerely hope all this may end 
well for Italy ; but as regards the present and the past, I 
must again say that I deeply regret to see your Holiness 
misconceive the honest views and sincere sympathies of the 
statesmen you have named, for the welfare of Italy ; they 
would like to see Italy independent, prosperous, progressing 
and contented, and able to take care of herself without foreign 
troops. Your Holiness has done me the honour to speak 
freely and openly with me ; permit me to do the same, and 
ask your Holiness what England must think when she sees 
the temporal power of your Holiness imposed upon three 
millions of people by the constant presence of French and 
Austrian bayonets, and when, after ten years of occupation, 
the Austrians withdraw suddenly, there is at once an insur- 
rection throughout the country ; and if the French were to 
leave Rome it is generally acknowledged that a revolution 
would compel your Holiness to seek refuge in some foreign 
country. At the same time, when the troops of your Holiness 
are employed as at Perugia, 1 the Government is too weak 
to control them ; they pillage and murder, and, instead of 
investigating their conduct, the excesses committed by them 
are publicly rewarded." 

The Pope smiled, paused, took a pinch of snuff, and then 
said good-humouredly : " Although I am not a prophet, I 
know one thing ; this war will be followed by an European 
Congress, and a Congress about Italian Affairs is even worse 
for us than war. There will be changes in Italy, but mark 
my words, whatever these changes are, the Pope will ever 
be the Pope, whether he dwells in the Vatican or lives 
concealed in the Catacombs. 

" Lastly, I will give you some advice. Prepare and take 
care of yourselves in England, for I am quite certain the 
French Emperor intends sooner or later to attack you." 

The Pope then beckoned to me to approach, and making 
the sign of the Cross, he gave me his blessing in Latin, then 

1 An insurrection against the Pope at Perugia had been put down with great cruelty 
on the 20th of June. 


with both his hands, he took one of mine, pressed it, and said 
with great warmth, " Be our friend in the hour of need." 
I have the honour to be, etc., etc., ODO RUSSELL. 

Queen Victoria to Lord John Russell. 

OSBORNE, ISth July 1859. 

The Queen returns these interesting letters to Lord John. 1 

The whole aspect of affairs gives cause for serious reflection 
and great anxiety for the future. 

The conduct of France as regards Italy shows how little 
the Emperor Napoleon cared for, or thought of, its indepen- 
dence when he undertook this war, which (though in the last 
instance begun by Austria) he brought on, for purposes of 
his own. 

The manifesto of the Emperor of Austria shows how un- 
fortunate for her own interests the policy of Prussia has 
been. 2 She had made herself answerable for the issue of 
the war by restraining the minor states, and stands now 
humiliated and isolated. Her position in Germany is at 
present very painful, and may be for the future very 

The Queen feels strongly that we are not without con- 
siderable responsibility in having from the first urged her 
to take no part in the war, which certainly had great influence 
on her actions and she will very naturally look to us not 
to desert her when the evil hour for her may come. 3 

1 These were letters from Lord Cowley and Sir James Hudson in reference to the Peace 
of Villafranca. The former announced, as a result of his conversation with the Empress 
and other persons, that among the causes which induced the French Emperor to consent 
to peace were his horror at any further sacrifice of life and time, disgust at what he con- 
sidered Italian apathy for the cause which the French were upholding, and distrust of 
the intentions of the King of Sardinia and Count Cavour. Sir James Hudson described 
the unanimous feeling at Turin that the Nationalist cause had been betrayed. Cavour. 
he wrote, could obtain no further response to his remonstrances with Napoleon than 
" II fait bien chaud : il fait bien chaud." Moreover, Napoleon knew (continued Sir 
James) " that Mazzini had dogged his footsteps to Milan, for, the day before yesterday, 
sixty-six Orsini bombshells were discovered there by the chief of the Sardinian police, 
who arrested the man (a known follower of Mazzini) who had them. The story is that 
he brought them from England for the purpose of using them against the Austrians II" 
Count Cavour, who resigned in disgust and was succeeded by Rattazzi, remained out of 
office till the following January. 

2 He stated that he believed he could obtain better terms direct from the French 
Emperor than those to which England, Russia, and Prussia were likely to give their 
moral support as a basis of mediation. 

3 Lord Cowley wrote to Lord John Russell on the 20th of July : 

"... The two Emperors met in the most cordial manner, shaking hands as if no 
difference had existed between them. As soon as they were alone, the Emperor ef 
Austria took the initiative, and stated at once that he was ready to cede to the Emperor 
of the French, for the sake of the restoration of peace, the territory which the latter had 
conquered, but that he could not do more, giving the reasons which I have meationed to 
your Lordship in former despatches. The Emperor of the French replied that his own 
position in France, and the public declarations which he had made, rendered something 


Queen Victoria to Sir Charles Wood. 

OSBORNE, 23rd July 1859. 

The Queen's attention has been attracted by No. 86 (Foreign 
Department) of the printed abstracts of letters received from 
India, relating to the affairs of Bussahir. 1 She would ask 
Sir C. Wood to consider, with his Council, whether means 
could not be found for making acts of confiscation, seques- 
tration, spoliation, transfer of Government, or whatever 
they may be called, dependent upon some formal and judicial 
proceeding which should secure the Queen from acts being 
done in her name which might not be entirely justifiable 
morally, as well as legally which should relieve the Govern- 
ment agents from the fearful responsibility of being sole 
advisers on steps implying judicial condemnation without 
trial on their mere personal opinion, and from which they 
derive themselves additional personal advancement in power, 
position, possibly emolument, etc., etc., and lastly, which 
would give the people of India security that the Government 

in addition necessary : that the war had been undertaken for the freedom of Italy, and 
that he could not justify to France a peace which did not ensure this object. The 
Emperor Francis Joseph rejoined that he had no objection to offer to the Confederation 
which formed part of the Emperor Napoleon's programme, and that he was ready to 
enter it with Venetia, and when the Emperor Napoleon remarked that such a result 
would be a derision, if the whole power and influence of Austria were to be brought to 
bear upon the Confederation, the Emperor Francis Joseph exclaimed against any such 
interpretation being given to his words, his idea being that Venetia should be placed 
on the same footing, in the Italian Confederation, as Luxemburg holds in the Germanic 
Confederation. . . . 

" In the course of conversation between the two Imperial Sovereigns, the Emperor 
of Austria remarked to the Emperor of the French with many expressions of goodwill, 
and of a desire to see the dynasty of the latter firmly established on the throne of France, 
that His Majesty took an odd way to accomplish his end. ' Believe me,' said the Emperor 
Francis Joseph, ' dynasties are not established by having recourse to such bad company 
as you have chosen ; revolutionists overturn, but do not construct.' The Emperor 
Napoleon appears t have taken the remark in very good part, and even to have excused 
himself to a certain degree, observing that it was a further reason that the Emperor 
Francis Joseph should aid him in putting an end to the war, and to the revolutionary 
spirit to which the war had given rise. 

" The Emperors having separated in the same cordial manner in which they had met, 
the Emperor of the French himself drew up the preliminaries and sent them in the evening 
to Verona by his cousin, the Prince Napoleon. Being introduced to the Emperor of 
Austria, who received His Imperial Highness very courteously, His Majesty said, after 
reading the preliminaries, that he must beg the Prince to excuse him for a short time, 
as he had others to consult before signing them. He then went into an adjoining room 
where, according to Prince Napoleon's account, a loud and angry discussion ensued, 
in which the Prince distinguished the Emperor's voice broken by tears, as if His Majesty 
had been obliged to have recourse to persuasion, to silence the opposition made to the 
conditions, and it was not until some time had elapsed that His Majesty returned and 
signed the paper containing them, or rather I infer that he retained the paper signed 
by the Emperor Napoleon, and returned one of similar purport, signed by himself for 
among all the curious circumstances connected with this transaction, nob the least curious 
is the fact that there does not exist any document recording the preliminaries with the 
double signature of both Emperors." 

l Bussahir was a State in the upper course of the Sutlej. In January, the Punjab, 
including the Sutlej States, had been made a distinct presidency, but Bussahir was not 
finally included until 1862. 


only acts after impartial judicial investigation and the sifting 
of evidence. 

The Queen would wish a report to be made to her upon 
this important subject. 

Queen Victoria to Lord John Russell. 1 

OSBORNE, 2lst August 1859. 

The Queen sends the enclosed draft to Lord John Russell ; 
she is very sorry that she cannot give her approval to it. 
There are many points in it to which she cannot but feel the 
gravest objections. It is unnecessary, however, for her to 
go into these details, as it is against the principle of England 
volunteering at this moment the intrusion of a scheme of 
her own for the redistribution of the territories and Govern- 
ments of Northern Italy, that she must above all protest. 
Moreover, a step of such importance, reversing the principle of 
non-intervention, which the Queen's Government has hitherto 
publicly declared and upheld, should, in the Queen's opinion, 
not be brought before her without having received the fullest 
deliberation and concurrence of the assembled Cabinet. 

Lord John Russell to Queen Victoria. 

PEMBROKE LODGE, 23rd August 1859. 

Lord John Russell presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty ; he begs to explain that with respect to reversing 
the principle of non-intervention, he has never proposed 
any such course. If intervention were to mean giving friendly 
advice, or even offering mediation, your Majesty's Govern- 
ment from January to May would have pursued a course of 
intervention, for they were all that time advising Austria, 
France, Sardinia, and Germany. 

If by friendly and judicious advice we can prevent a bloody 
and causeless war in Italy we are bound to give such advice. 

If we refrain from doing so, we may ultimately be obliged 
to have recourse to intervention ; that is to say, we may 
have to interfere against the ruthless tyranny of Austria, or 
the unchained ambition of France. It is with a view to 
prevent the necessity of intervention that Lord John Russell 
advises friendly representations. 

l A month earlier, on his return from the war, the Emperor had tried to enlist British 
support in his scheme for a European congress. But the Cabinet decided (24th July), 
with the Queen's full concurrence, that no answer should be returned to this proposal, 
till a Treaty, embodying the preliminaries of Villafranca, should have been signed 

VOL. Ill 12* 


Queen Victoria to Lord John Russell. 

ALDERSHOT, 23rd August 1859. 

. . . With regard to Lord John's letter of to-day, the 
Queen wishes merely to say that from the outbreak of the 
war our negotiations have ceased, and that the war is not 
over till the peace is concluded. Our interference before that 
period may be prompted by a desire to prevent a future 
war ; but our first duty is not to interfere with the closing 
of the present. The desire to guard Italy against " the ruth- 
less tyranny of Austria, and the unchained ambition of France " 
may produce a state of things in Italy, forcing both to make 
common cause against her, and backed by the rest of Europe 
to isolate England, and making her responsible for the issue. 
It will be little satisfaction then to reflect upon the fact that 
our interference has been merely advice. 

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria. 

94 PICCADILLY, 23rd August 1859. 

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty, and begs to state that Lord John Russell has shown 
him your Majesty's communication, in which your Majesty 
objects to a proposed despatch to Lord Cowley, on the ground 
that it would be a departure from the principle of non-inter- 
vention which has been publicly proclaimed as the rule for 
Great Britain in the late events between France and Austria. 
But Viscount Palmerston would beg humbly to submit to 
your Majesty that the intervention which all parties agreed 
that this country ought to abstain from, was active inter- 
ference by force of arms in the war then going on, but that 
neither of the great political parties meant or asserted that 
this country should not interfere by its advice and opinions 
in regard to the matters to which the war related. Viscount 
Palmerston can assert that neither he nor any of those who 
were acting with him out of office ever contemplated giving 
such a meaning to the doctrine of non-intervention ; and 
that such a meaning never was attached to it by the Con- 
servative Leaders while they were in office, is proved from 
one end of their Blue Book to the other. 1 The whole course 
of the Derby Government, in regard to the matters on which 
the war turned, was one uninterrupted series of interventions 
by advice, by opinions, and by censure now addressed to 
one party and now to another. Whatever may be thought 
of the judgment which was shown by them, or of the bias 

l This was the Blue Book, the production of which would, according to Lord Malmes- 
bury, have saved the Derby Ministry. 


Ly which they were guided, the principle on which they acted 
was undoubtedly right and proper. 

England is one of the greatest powers of the world, no 
event or series of events bearing on the balance of power, 
or on probabilities of peace or war can be matters of indiffer- 
ence to her, and her right to have and to express opinions 
on matters thus bearing on her interests is unquestionable ; 
and she is equally entitled to give upon such matters any 
advice which she may think useful, or to suggest any arrange- 
ments which she may deem conducive to the general good. 

It is no doubt true that the Conservative Party, since 
they have ceased to be responsible for the conduct of affairs, 
have held a different doctrine, and in their anxiety lest the 
influence of England should be exerted for the benefit of 
Italy, and to the disadvantage of Austria, have contended 
that any participation by Great Britain in the negotiations for 
the settlement of Italy would be a departure from the principle 
of non-intervention ; but their own practice while in office 
refutes their newly adopted doctrine in opposition ; and if that 
doctrine were to be admitted, Great Britain would, by her own 
act, reduce herself to the rank of a third-class European State. 

Queen Victoria to Lord John Russell. 

OSBORNE, August 1859. 

The Queen is really placed in a position of much difficulty, 
giving her deep pain. She has been obliged to object to so 
many drafts sent to her from the Foreign Office on the Italian 
Question, and yet, no sooner is one withdrawn or altered, 
than others are submitted exactly of the same purport or 
tendency, if even couched in new words. The Queen has so 
often expressed her views that she is almost reluctant to 
reiterate them. She wishes, however, Lord John to re-peruse 
the two drafts enclosed, which just came to her. If they have 
y meaning or object, it must be to show to France that it 
ould be to her interest to break in the Treaty of Zurich the 
ing conditions to which she pledged herself to Austria 
at Villafranca. Those preliminaries contained but three 
provisions affecting Austria : (1) That Austria was to cede 
Lombardy ; (2) That an Italian Confederation should be en- 
couraged, of which Venetia was to form part ; (3) That the 
Dukes of Tuscany and Modena were to return to their Duchies. 
The two latter clauses must be considered as compensations 
for the losses inflicted in the first. Both the latter are now 
to be recommended by England, a neutral in the war, to be 


Now, either it is expected that our advice will not be listened 
to, in which case it would not be useful and hardly dignified 
to give it, or it is expected that France will follow it. If, on 
finding herself cheated, Austria were to feel herself obliged 
to take up arms again, we should be directly answerable for 
this fresh war. What would then be our alternative ? Either 
to leave France in the lurch, to re-fight her own battle, which 
would entail lasting danger and disgrace on this country, 
or to join her in the fresh war against Austria a misfortune 
from which the Queen feels herself equally bound to protect 
her country. 

As this is a question of principle on which she clearly un- 
derstood her Cabinet to have been unanimous, she must ask 
her correspondence to be circulated amongst its members, 
with a view to ascertain whether they also would be parties 
to its reversal, and in order to prevent the necessity of these 
frequent discussions, which, as the Queen has already said, 
are very painful to her. 

Earl Granville to the Prince Albert. 

LONDON, 29th August 1859. 

SIR, In the middle of last week I received at Aldenham 
a letter from Mr Sidney Herbert, 1 in which he told me that he- 
had just received a visit from Lord Palmerston, much per- 
turbed and annoyed, saying that the Queen had objected to 
all Lord John's despatches, and appeared to think that it- 
was objectionable for England to give any advice on the sub- 
ject of Italian affairs. Mr Herbert gave some good advice 
to Lord Palmerston, but, from the tone of his letter, I gather 
that he thought the objections made at Osborne unreasonable. 
I answered that I entirely concurred with him in the interest- 
of everybody, that no feelings of irritation should exist be- 
tween the Sovereign and her leading Ministers ; that it was 
possible that the Queen, forgetting how very sensitive Lord 
John was to criticism, had pulled him up more sharply than 
he liked, but that I was convinced the objections made were 
not exactly those mentioned by Lord Palmerston. I heard 
nothing more till I received on Saturday evening a telegram., 
summoning me to a Cabinet this day. I came to Town im- 
mediately, and saw Lord Palmerston yesterday. I enquired. 
the reason of the sudden summons for a Cabinet. He told 
me that there had been a discussion between the Queen and 
Lord John ; that the Queen had objected to his (Lord John's) 
proposal that the despatch of 25th July should be now com- 
1 See Lord Fitzmanrice's Life of Lord Oranvitte, vol. i. chap. xiii. 


municated to the French Government. Lord John had in- 
formed him of the fact, and had requested him to communicate 
with the Queen on the subject. Lord Palmerston then read 
to me a well-written memorandum on the abstract question of 
giving advice, which he had sent to Her Majesty. He told 
me that he had been to Osborne ; that the Queen had ex- 
pressed a wish through Sir Charles Wood that he should not 
discuss the whole matter with her ; that he had had a satis- 
factory conversation with your Royal Highness, of which he 
gave me an abstract, which, however, contained his own 
arguments at greater length than your Royal Highness's. 
He said that Lord John had made a mistake with respect to 
the end of the despatch, in which Lord Cowley is desired to 
withhold it till after the Peace of Zurich was concluded. 
Lord John gave a different interpretation to it from what 
appeared to be the case, as described by a previous letter of 
Lord John, in which he had said that the sentence was added 
at the suggestion of the Cabinet, and with his entire approval. 
Lord Palmerston states that the Queen did not feel herself 
authorised to sanction a departure from what had been 
decided by the Cabinet, without the concurrence of the Cabinet, 
and that she thought it desirable, if the Cabinet met, that 
they should agree on the future policy as regards Italy. Lord 
John also wished for a Cabinet. 

I replied that there seemed to be a double question : first, 
a difference between the Queen and Lord John Russell and 
himself ; and second, the whole question of our Italian Policy. 
On the first point I could not but remember the apprehension 
generally felt at the formation of his first Government ; that 
the feeling between the Sovereign and himself might not be 
such as to give strength to the Government ; that the result, 
however, was most satisfactory. I was not aware of either 
the Queen or himself having given way on any one point of 
principle, but the best understanding was kept up in the most 
honourable way to both, and that, at the end of his Ministry, 
I knew that the Queen had expressed to several persons how 
much she regretted to lose his services. That I most sincerely 
hoped that there was no chance of misunderstanding now 
arising ; that would be most disadvantageous to the Sove- 
reign, to the public service, to the Government, and, above 
all, to himself. He interrupted me by assuring me that there 
was not the slightest chance of this. He repeated to me 
flattering things said by the Queen at the close of his last 
Administration, and told me that it was impossible for the 
Queen to have been more kind and civil than at his visit last 
week at Osborne. I continued that in Italian matters I 


believed the Cabinet was agreed. Our language to Italian 
Governments ought to show sympathy with Italy, and let 
them know that we were anxious that they should be left 
free to act and decide for themselves ; that it should inform 
them in the clearest manner that in no case were they to obtain 
active assistance from us, and it ought to avoid giving any 
advice as to their conduct, which might make us responsible 
for the evil or danger which might accrue from following 
such advice. That our language to France and Austria ought 
to press upon them in every judicious manner the expediency 
of doing that which was likely to secure the permanent hap- 
piness of Italy, and to persuade them to abstain from forcing 
upon the Italians, persons and forms of Government to which 
they objected ; nothing like a menace or a promise to be 
used. . . . 

I then saw Sidney Herbert, who told me that Charles 
Wood's report had entirely changed the aspect of things ; 
that it was clear that the Queen had come to the assistance 
of the Cabinet, instead of opposing them ; that reason had 
been entirely on her side, and that Johnny had reduced the 
question now to the single point, which was not of much 
importance, whether the 25th July despatch should now be 
communicated or not. He told me that Lord John was in a 
state of great irritation, and ready to kick over the traces. 
I dined at Lord Palmerston's, and met Sir Charles Wood and 
Mr Gladstone. I had some guarded conversation with the 
latter, who seemed very reasonable. Sir Charles Wood gave 
me all the information which I required. It appears to me 
that the really important point is that the whole Cabinet 
should know the real question between the Queen and her 
Ministers, and that, if Lord John can find plausible reasons 
for changing the date of the communication of the despatch, 
it may be better for the Queen to consent to this. Some of 
us will take care to have a decided opinion about the future 
course of our policy. 

I presume Sir George Grey will be at the Cabinet, and will 
be able to report to your Royal Highness what has passed. 
If he is not there, I will write again. I have the honour to be, 
Sir, with great respect, your Royal Highness' s obedient, 
humble, and faithful Servant, GRANVILLE. 

Earl Granville to the Prince Albert. 

PRIVY COUNCIL OFFICE, 29th August 1859. 

SIB, The Cabinet was very satisfactory. Lord John 
looked ill, and evidently ashamed of much of his case. Many 


of the Cabinet thought that the despatch of 25th July had 
not only been sent but communicated. Others attached a 
different meaning to the closing paragraph than what it 
appears to bear. Lord John produced a most objectionable 
draft of despatch in lieu of that of the 25th. It was univer- 
sally condemned, and Lord Palmerston was empowered to 
tell the Queen that the Cabinet now thought that the despatch 
of the 25th might be communicated. 

Lords Palmerston and John Russell asked for further 
powers during the Recess, and recommended that we should 
give an opinion in favour of annexation of duchies to Sardinia. 
This was decidedly objected to, and we all professed our readi- 
ness to meet again if necessary. 1 

The Cabinet thoroughly understood what had passed 
between the Queen and her two Ministers, although we could 
not get Lord John to show us all we required. 

Gladstone took me aside after it was over to say that I 
must have thought him stupid yesterday evening, that now 
he knew the facts he thought Her Majesty had been put to 
most unnecessary annoyance. The Chancellor said something 
of the same sort. I never saw the Cabinet more united. 

The Duke of Argyll, Lord Elgin, and Mr Cardwell were 
absent. I am, Sir, with great respect, your obedient, humble, 
and faithful Servant, GRANVILLE. 

Queen Victoria to Lord John Rtissell. 

BALMORAL, 5th September 1859. 

Lord John Russell will not be surprised if the despatches 
of Lord Cowley and drafts by Lord John in answer to them, 
which the Queen returns to him, have given her much pain. 
Here we have the very interference with advice to which 
the Queen had objected when officially brought before her for 
her sanction, to which the Cabinet objected, and which Lord 
John Russell agreed to withdraw, carried on by direct com- 
munication of the Prime Minister through the French Am- 
bassador with the Emperor ; and we have the very effect 
produced which the Queen dreaded, viz. the French Minister 
insinuating that we called upon his master to do that which 
he would consider so dishonourable that he would rather 
resign than be a party to it ! What is the use of the Queen's 
open and, she fears, sometimes wearisome correspondence, 
with her Ministers, what the use of long deliberations of the 

l " Para, asked for fuller powers to act during the recess, which was met by a general 
assurance of readiness to come up by night trains." Lord Granville to the Duke of 
Argyll. See the Life of Lord Granvitte, vol. i. p. 358. 


Cabinet, if the very policy can be carried out by indirect 
means which is set aside officially, and what protection has 
the Queen against this practice ? Lord John Russell's 
distinction also between his own official and private opinion 
or advice given to a Foreign Minister is a most dangerous, 
and, the Queen thinks, untenable theory, open to the same 
objections, for what he states will have the weight of the 
official character of the Foreign Secretary, whether stated as 
his private or his public opinion. His advice to the Marquis 
d' Azeglio * is moreover quite open to the inference drawn 
by Count Walewski, that it is an encouragement to Sardinia, 
to Military intervention in and occupation of the Duchies, 
and Lord John Russell's answer hardly meets this point if 
left as it stands at present ; for " the name of the King of 
Sardinia, . . . the chief of a well-disciplined army," will have 
little influence unless he is prepared to use that army. 

The Queen must ask Lord John to instruct Lord Cowley 
to state to Count Walewski that no opinions expressed on 
Foreign Policy are those of " Her Majesty's Government " 
but those which are given in the official and regular way, and 
that Her Majesty's Government never thought of advising 
the French Government to break the solemn engagements 
into which the Emperor Napoleon entered towards the 
Emperor of Austria at Villafranca. 

The Queen asks Lord John to communicate this letter to 
Lord Palmerston. 

Queen Victoria to Lord John Russell. 

BALMORAL, Qth September 1859. 

The Queen returns Lord Palmerston' s letter, together with 
the other papers sent to her, to Lord John. She is glad to 
find that he thinks that no answer ought to be given to Count 
Persigny, but she thinks it important that it should be stated 
to him that no answer can be given. Unfortunately, here has 
been again the Prime Minister declaring that he quite agrees 
with the French Ambassador, but that the proposal should 
come officially from France to be placed before the Cabinet. 
The inference must be that the Cabinet and the Queen will, 
as a matter of course, agree also, when it is so submitted. 
Now what is it that Lord Palmerston has approved ? A 
plan for an alliance of England with France for the purpose 
of overruling Austria, if the Duchies in which she is the heir, 

i Massimo d'Azeglio, Sardinian Commissioner in the Romagna. He had been Prime 
Minister of Sardinia from 1849 till 1852, when Cavour, who had been in his ministry, 
succeeded him. 


and to whicn the Archdukes were to return in accordance 
with the stipulations of Villafranca, were given to Sardinia 
and Austria should object. It is hoped indeed that this will 
not immediately lead to war with her, but France is to expect 
bhat she will not be left to fight single-handed for an object 
declared to be more English than French ! Thus we are 
dragged step by step into the position of a party in the Italian 
strife. The Queen thinks it incumbent upon her not to leave 
Lord John Russell in ignorance of the fact that she could 
not approve such a policy reversing our whole position since 
the commencement of the War. 

The Queen must leave it to Lord John to consider how far 
it would be fair to his colleagues in the Cabinet to leave them 
unacquainted with the various private steps lately taken, 
\vhich must seriously affect their free consideration of the 
important question upon which they have hitherto pledged 
themselves to a distinct principle. 

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston. 

BALMORAL, 6th September 1859. 

The Queen returns to Lord Palmerston his correspondence 
with M. de Persigny. Lord John Russell will have sent him 
her letter to him on this subject. She has nothing to add, 
but to repeat her conviction of the great danger and incon- 
venience arising out of such private communications, and 
the apprehension she must naturally feel that the attempt 
to convince the Emperor Napoleon that it would be for his 
interest to break his word to the Emperor of Austria should 
reflect upon the honour of the Queen's Government. She 
must insist upon this being distinctly guarded against. 

Lord John Russell to Queen Victoria. 

ABERGELDIE, 7th September 1859. 

Lord John Russell presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty ; he cannot refrain from making some remarks on 
your Majesty's letter of yesterday. 

Lord Palmerston appears to have answered M. de Persigny 
by saying that he personally agreed with him, but that the 
proposition he had sketched must come from the French 
Government ; that it must come from them officially, and it 
would then have to be maturely considered by the Cabinet. 

Lord John Russell sees nothing to object to in this language. 
It might be embarrassing to Lord Palmerston if such a pro- 
position were to come from France, and were to be rejected 


by the Cabinet. But Lord Palmerston could easily explain 
the matter to M. de Persigny. Lord Palmerston does not 
appear to have committed your Majesty, or Lord John 
Russell, or the Cabinet in any way. 

On the other hand, your Majesty cannot mean that the 
Cabinet is to be precluded from maturely considering any 
proposition which may come officially from France. 

Lord John Russell feels, on his own part, that he must 
offer to your Majesty such advice as he thinks best adapted 
to secure the interests and dignity of your Majesty and the 
country. He will be held by Parliament responsible for that 
advice. It will be always in your Majesty's power to reject 
it altogether. 

Lord John Russell is of opinion that there never was a 
time when it was less expedient to fetter this country by pro- 
spective engagements. But it does not follow that the policy 
pursued last autumn and winter, and which ended in a war 
in Italy, would be the best course in any future contingency. 
Should another war arise it will be very difficult for Great 
Britain to remain neutral. For this reason it is desirable to 
prevent such a war, if possible. It was difficult last winter, 
and may be still more difficult this winter. For the present 
there is no better course than to keep this country free from 
engagements. After the peace of Zurich is made, or not 
made, we shall see our way better. 

Lord John Russell has never concealed his opinions from 
his colleagues. He even warned them that France might 
make such a proposition as M. de Persigny now contemplates. 

The enclosed letter from Lord Palmerston and Mr Fane's * 
despatch will show the feelings which exist between Austria 
and Prussia. The Emperor Napoleon does not appear to 
have satisfied Prince Metternich. His object evidently is 
to gain time. 

Queen Victoria to Lord John Russell. 

BALMORAL, 7th September 1859. 

The Queen has received Lord John Russell's letter. She 
can ask for nothing better than " that we should be kept 
from any engagements," and she never could have intended 
to convey the impression that she wished to " see the Cabinet 
precluded from taking into consideration any proposal France 
might make." What she objects to is binding beforehand 

l Julian Henry Fane, son of the eleventh Earl of Westmorland, and Secretary of 
Embassy at Vienna. 


the Government by expressions of opinion of its leading 
members to the French Government, and thus bringing about 
those French proposals "which it will be most embarrassing to 
the Cabinet either to reject or adopt. It is absolutely neces- 
sary, therefore, that the French Government should be told 
that the opinions given were private opinions not binding the 
Government. Lord John has not yet sent to the Queen 
drafts in conformity with her wishes expressed in her letter 
of the day before yesterday. 

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria. 

BROADLANDS, $th September 185J. 

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty, and has had the honour to receive your Majesty's 
communication of the 6th of this month ; and although he 
had the honour of addressing your Majesty yesterday after- 
noon, he deems it his duty to submit some observations upon 
this communication. 

Your Majesty states that Viscount Palmerston in his letter 
to Count Persigny endeavoured to persuade the Emperor 
of the French to break his word to the Emperor of Austria, 
but Viscount Palmerston must beg very respectfully but 
entirely to deny that accusation. . . . J 

Your Majesty is pleased to observe upon the danger and 
inconvenience of private communications with Foreign Minis- 
ters, and to add that your Majesty must insist upon this being 
distinctly guarded against. Viscount [Palmerston] would 
be very desirous of knowing the precise meaning of those last 
words. If your Majesty means that what is to be guarded 
against is any attempt to induce a Foreign Sovereign to 
break his word, Viscount Palmerston cordially subscribes 
to that opinion, and maintains that he has not done so in the 
past, and declares that he has no intention of doing so in 
the future. But if your Majesty's meaning is that Viscount 
Palmerston is to be debarred from communicating with Foreign 
Ministers except for the purpose of informing them officially 
of formal decisions of the British Government, Viscount 
Palmerston would beg humbly and respectfully to represent 
to your Majesty that such a curtailment of the proper and 
constitutional functions of the office which he holds would 
render it impossible for him to serve your Majesty consistently 
with his own honour or with advantage to the public interest. 

l Lord Palmerston then gives a very long and detailed account of his position. 


Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston. 

BALMORAL, llth September 1859. 

Lord Palmerston has written (on the 8th) a long letter 
to the Queen, which, besides giving his private opinion on 
the politics of Italy, which were not disputed, purports to 
show that when a principle of policy had been adopted by 
the Cabinet and sanctioned by the Sovereign, the Foreign 
Secretary ought not to be impeded in carrying out the details, 
either by objections raised to them by the Sovereign, or by 
making them dependent on the meetings of Cabinets, difficult 
to obtain at this time of year. Now the question raised by 
the Queen was just the reverse. The principle adopted by the 
Cabinet and sanctioned by the Queen was : not to interfere 
by active advice with the peace to be made at Zurich ; the 
Foreign Secretary had submitted a draft which had appeared 
to the Queen to be in contradiction to this principle, which, 
upon the Sovereign's objection, he withdrew ; the Cabinet 
was summoned and rejected a similar draft submitted to them, 
and the Queen then complained that the very same advice 
should have been given by the Prime Minister in an indirect 
way to which the Sovereign and Cabinet could not agree 
openly. Lord Palmerston's letter was not communicated 
to the Queen until it had been alluded to in a public despatch, 
and Count Walewski had insinuated to our Ambassador that, 
rather than be a party to a line of conduct, which he would 
look upon as dishonourable for his master, he would resign 
office. What the Queen has asked for is : an intimation to 
the French Government that private communications like 
that of Lord Palmerston to M. de Persigny must not be looked 
upon as the official expression of the opinion of Her Majesty's 
Government, and that we disclaim ever having intended to 
induce the Emperor to break his engagements made at Villa- 
franca, whatever they may have been. The Queen does not 
conceive that Lord Palmerston can object to this course, 
nor does he attempt to do so in his letter. 

P.S. Since writing the above the Queen has received 
Lord Palmerston's letter of the 9th. As she has just written 
at length, she does not conceive that it would be necessary 
to make any further observations in reply, except to a dis- 
tinct question put by him in the latter part of his letter, viz. 
what the Queen wishes to have " distinctly guarded against." 

It is the danger and inconvenience of private communica- 
tions with Foreign Ministers, without a distinct understanding 
that they are strictly private, and not to be treated as con- 
veying the opinions of Her Majesty's Government, where the 

1859] ST JUAN 373 

sanction of the Crown and adhesion of the Cabinet have not 
been obtained. Lord John Russell has now expressed this 
in a paragraph in one of his drafts to Lord Cowley, which he 
will send to Lord Palmerston. 

As a proof of the necessity of such caution, the Queen 
has only to refer to the public use made of Lord Palmerston's 
private letter to Count Persigny, and the use made to our 
prejudice by the Emperor Napoleon at the time of the armistice 
at Villafranca of a private communication with Count Persigny, 
which was represented to imply assent to certain conditions 
of peace by England, with a desire of pressing them on Austria, 
when no opinion had been expressed by the Government to 
justify such an inference. 

The Duke of Newcastle to Queen Victoria. 

DOWNING STREET, 26th September 1859. 

The Duke of Newcastle presents his humble duty to your 

Your Majesty will receive from Sir George Lewis full in- 
formation of the serious intelligence which has been received 
to-day from Washington and Vancouver Island respecting 
the Military occupation by United States troops of the island 
of St Juan, 1 and of the view taken of it by your Majesty's 

The Duke of Newcastle begs leave to receive your Majesty's 
instructions upon the acceptance of an offer made by Lord 
Clarendon whilst on a visit at Clumber last week. Lord 
Clarendon received not long ago a private letter from the 
President of the United States. He proposes that in answering 
this letter he should express his concern at these untoward 
events, and particularly at their occurrence at a time when, 
if not speedily settled, they would prevent the fulfilment 
of a project which he had reason to think had been in contem- 
plation a visit to Washington by the Prince of Wales on 
his return from Canada. 

Lord Clarendon expresses his belief that nothing would 
so much gratify Mr Buchanan as a visit from His Royal High- 
ness to the United States during his Presidency. . . . 

Lord Palmerston and Lord John Russell see no objection 
to such a letter from Lord Clarendon, which, whilst it would 
carry weight as coming from one occupying so high a position 
in this country, would bear no official character ; but as the 

i A dispute had arisen out of the Oregon affair (see ante, vol. ii. pp. 30 and 72), con- 
cerning the rival claims of this country and the United States to the small island of St 
Juan, situated between Vancouver Island and the State of Washington, which is adjacent 
to the Canadian frontier. 


name of the Prince of Wales would be used, however hypo- 
thetically, such a letter would not be written by Lord Clarendon 
or accepted by the Government without your Majesty's 

The Duke of Newcastle therefore requests to be favoured 
with your Majesty's commands that he may communicate 
them to Lord Clarendon. 

Queen Victoria to Lord John Russell. 1 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 1st December 1859. 

The Queen returns Lord Cowley's interesting letter. She 
trusts that it will be made quite clear to the Emperor that 
he has no chance of getting us to join him in the war with 
Austria, which he may be tempted or driven to renew. This 
alternative constantly recurs to his mind. . . . 

Lord John 'Russell to Queen Victoria. 

FOREIGN OFFICE, 1st December 1859. 

Lord John Russell presents his humble duty to your Majesty; 
he has written to Lord Cowley, according to your Majesty's 
gracious permission. The question of supporting the Emperor 
of the French, if Austria should attempt force to impose a 
government in Italy against the popular will, must be judged 
of according to the circumstances, should they arise. Lord 
John Russell is certainly not prepared to say that a case 
may not arise when the interests of Great Britain might 
require that she should give material support to the Emperor 
of the French. But he considers such a case as very im- 
probable, and that the fear of such an alliance will prevent 
Austria from disturbing the peace of Europe. 

Queen Victoria to Lord John Russell. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 2nd December 1859. 

The Queen was extremely sorry to find from Lord John 
Russell's letter of yesterday that he contemplates the possi- 
bility of our joining France in a fresh Italian war or demon- 
stration of war against Austria, which the Queen had put 
entirely out of the question. If the Emperor of the French 
were allowed to believe in such a possibility, he would have 
it in his power to bring it about, or obtain a just cause of 
complaint against us, if we abandoned him. It would be 

1 On the 10th of November the Treaty of Zurich, embodying the terms arranged at 
Villafranca. had been signed, and a Congress was determined upon, to settle Italian 


just as dangerous and unfair towards the Emperor to mislead 
him in this respect as it would be for the Queen to conceal 
from Lord John that under no pretence will she depart from 
her position of neutrality in the Italian quarrel, and inflict 
upon her country and Europe the calamity of war on that 

Queen Victoria to Lord John Russell. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 6th December 1859. 

The Queen has received Lord John Russell's letter recom- 
mending Sir James Hudson 1 as the Second Representative 
at the Congress of Paris. The Queen must decline sanctioning 
this selection. Lord John Russell has in his last letters 
avowed his conviction that England cannot again remain 
neutral in an Italian war, and his opinion that she ought to 
support France and Sardinia by arms if Austria were to 
attempt to recover her supremacy by force. Lord Cowley 
wrote on the 29th ult. that Prince Metternich declared that 
Austria kept her Army ready because she could not permit 
either the military occupation of the Duchies by Sardinia 
or their annexation to that kingdom. Lord Palmerston sent 
to the Queen yesterday evening the copy of a letter he wrote 
to Count Persigny urging the Emperor Napoleon by every 
argument he can find to consent to this annexation, even to 
the length of assuring him that such a state would always 
be obliged to lean on France. 

The Queen cannot help drawing her conclusions from these 
facts, and feels more than ever the great responsibility resting 
on her, to preserve to her people the blessings of peace. She 
wishes this letter to be communicated to Lord Palmerston 
and to the Cabinet. 

The Queen approves of Lord Cowley as her First Repre- 
sentative at the Congress. 

Queen Victoria to Lord John Russell. 

OSBORNE, 1th December 1859. 

The Queen has received Lord John Russell's letter of yester- 
day. Although to avoid a long written discussion, she has 
not in her last letter stated any reason for her objecting to 
Sir James Hudson as Plenipotentiary at the Congress, she 
has no objection to state to Lord John that it is simply her 
want of confidence in him, being the result of her having 
watched his conduct at his post at Turin during these last 

i Sir James Hudson, Minister at Turin, had been a sympathiser in the policy of Cavour, 
to an extent almost incompatible with his position as a British representative. 


years. The Queen's representative at Paris ought to be a 
person in whom she can have entire confidence, that English 
interests alone will sway his conduct. From Lord John 
Russell's letter it appears that many of his colleagues in 
Cabinet saw equal objections to the appointment. 

The Queen repeats her wish that her letter of yesterday 
may be communicated to the Cabinet. 

Lord Cowley's letter, which she returns, is not calculated 
to diminish the Queen's alarm as to the direction in which 
we are being systematically driven, viz. War to support the 
Emperor Napoleon, who almost claims such support already 
as his right ! He has already shifted his ground further, 
and asks for it in case Austria should oppose " the armed 
interference of Sardinia in the affairs of Central Italy." Now 
Sardinia can have no more right to such interference than 
Austria ; yet the Emperor says "he is quite determined to 
renew the war in case Austria resists." It is under these 
circumstances that the advice of the Prime Minister of England 
to the Emperor, to withdraw the only impediment which 
restrains the action of Sardinia, becomes a matter of such 
grave moment. 

The Queen is determined to hold to her neutrality in the 
Italian intrigues, revolutions, and wars. It is true, Lord 
John says, " it becomes a great power like Great Britain 
to preserve the peace of Europe, by throwing her great weight 
into the scale which has justice on its side." But where 
justice lies, admits of every variety of opinion. 

The Party placed in absolute power by a revolution and 
a foreign invasion is not necessarily the exponent of the real 
wishes of a people, and Lord Cowley reports Mr Layard " hot 
from Italy to confirm him in the opinion he has always held, 
that the annexation of Tuscany to Sardinia is not practicable." 
This, however, Lord Palmerston urges, and if it be agreed 
to by the Emperor and attempted by Sardinia, Lord John 
would probably wish England to fight for it as the cause of 

Has Lord John ever contemplated the probability of Austria 
not being abandoned a second time by Germany, when at- 
tacked by France ? The Emperor is sure to have calculated 
upon this, and has not played his game badly, if he can get 
the Alliance of England to sanction and foster his attack upon 
the Rhine, which would inevitably follow. The Queen be- 
lieves this to be a cherished object of France, and the success 
certain if we become her dupes. The Queen can hardly 
for a moment bring herself to think of the consequences. 

She would wish this letter also to be shown to the Cabinet. 


Earl Granville to the Prince Albert. 

LONDON, Sth December 1859. 

SIR, Lord John stated in what appeared to me a very fair 
way what had taken place between himself and Lord Palmer- 
ston in their communications with Her Majesty, and read Her 
Majesty's letters. At the end of his statement the Chancellor 
asked what was the question to be decided by the Cabinet. 
Lord John answered that he wished to know whether he was 
to inform Her Majesty that the Cabinet were of opinion that 
they were still respectfully of opinion that Sir James Hudson 
was the fittest person to be named Second Plenipotentiary, or 
whether he should acquiesce in Her Majesty's commands, 
reserving his own opinion as to the fitness of Sir James. The 
Chancellor answered : " Undoubtedly the second course will 
be the best." I then stated my reasons, or rather repeated 
them, for objecting to Sir James Hudson. Mr Gladstone 
made a hesitating remark. Sir G. Lewis and the Duke of 
Argyll, Sir Charles Wood, and Sir George Grey the latter 
very strongly supported the second course proposed by Lord 
John. Lord Palmerston spoke with some temper and dog- 
matically as to who were right and who were wrong, but 
advised Lord John to take the second course. The appoint- 
ment of Lord Wodehouse 1 was proposed. Some of us do not 
think it a very good one, but there are no sufficient grounds for 
our opposing it. I am not sure that Gladstone would not go 
any lengths in supporting Lords Palmerston and John Russell 
on the Italian Question, although he is more cautious than 
they are. The feeling of the rest of the Cabinet, as far as I 
can judge, is perfectly sound about war, and on our taking 
an English and not a purely Sardinian attitude ; but they 
are all inclined to sympathise with the national feeling in 
Italy, and averse to the restoration of the Dukes by force or 
by intrigue. 

Lord John was sore and nervous, but talked of his letter to 
the Queen, and Lord Palmerston' s to Persigny, as " unlucky." 
Lord Palmerston seems convinced that he is perfectly in 
the right, and everybody else in the wrong, and would, I 
am sure, take advantage of any step, taken without sufficient 
consideration by the Queen, to make a stand for his own 
policy. . . . 

I have the honour to be, Sir, with great respect, your Royal 
Highness' s obedient and faithful Servant, GRANVILLE. 

i Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and afterwards, as Earl of Kimberley, 
a member of successive Liberal Cabinets. 


Queen Victoria to the Lord Chancellor (Lord Campbell}. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, 26th December 1859. 

The Queen wishes to ask the Lord Chancellor whether no 
steps can be taken to prevent the present publicity of the 
proceedings before the new Divorce Court. These cases, which 
must necessarily increase when the new law becomes more and 
more known, fill now almost daily a large portion of the news- 
papers, and are of so scandalous a character that it makes it 
almost impossible for a paper to be trusted in the hands of 
a young lady or boy. None of the worst French novels from 
which careful parents would try to protect their children 
can be as bad as what is daily brought and laid upon the 
breakfast-table of every educated family in England, and its 
effect must be most pernicious to the public morals of the 
country. 1 

Queen Victoria to the Emperor of the French. 

WINDSOR CASTLE, le 31 Decembre 1859. 

SIRE ET MON CHER FRERE, Je viens comme de coutume 
offrir a votre Majeste nos felicitations bien sinceres a 1' occasion 
de la nouvelle annee. Puisse-t-elle ne vous apporter que du 
bonheur et du contentement ! L'annee qui vient de s'ecouler 
a ete orageuse et penible et a fait souffrir bien des cceurs. Je 
prie Dieu que celle dans laquelle nous entrons nous permette 
de voir s'accomplir 1'oeuvre de la pacification, avec tous ses 
bienf aits pour le repos et le progres du monde. II y aura encore 
a reconcilier bien des opinions divergentes et des interets 
apparemment opposes ; mais avec 1'aide du Ciel et une ferme 
resolution de ne vouloir que le bien de ceux dont nous avons a 
regler le sort, il ne faut pas en desesperer. 

Nous avons eu le plaisir de posseder pendant quelques 
semaines notre chere fille et son mari, qu'il nous a ete bien 
doux de revoir au sein de notre famille. Notre fils aine passe 
ses vacances avec nous, mais retournera prochainement a 
Oxford pour reprendre ses etudes. 

Lady Ely vient de nous dire qu'elle a trouv6 votre Majeste 
ainsi que 1'Imperatrice et le petit Prince dans la meilleure 
sante ce qui nous a fait bien du plaisir d' entendre. 

Le Prince me charge d' offrir ses hommages les plus affectueux 
a votre Majeste, et, en vous renouvelant les expressions de ma 
sincere amitie, je me dis, Sire et chcr Frere, de V.M.I, la bonne 
et affectionnee Sceur et Amie, VICTORIA R. 

l Lord Campbell replied that having attempted in the last session to introduce a 
measure to give effect to the Queen's wish, and having been defeated, he was helpless to 
prevent the evil. 


AT the end of 1859, Mr Cobden had offered his services to the 
Government to negotiate a commercial treaty with France, and 
had been warmly encouraged in the scheme by Mr Gladstone. In 
January 1860, he was officially appointed a Plenipotentiary, with 
Lord Cowley, for this purpose, and on the 23rd of that month the 
treaty was signed. It included mutual remissions and reductions 
of import duties, and was contingent on obtaining the assent of the 
British Parliament, but neither party was fe